Getting Your Borrowed Books Back

I have a fairly large library. My policy has always been that you can come to my office and use any of my books, but you can't take any out. Selfish? Maybe, but I have learned over the years that what is borrowed is forever gone.

In his book The Swerve, How the World Became Modern Stephen Greenblatt shares how monks once cursed their books to deter humanist book hunters from taking them:

"For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease to his agony till he sing in disolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever."

I wonder if the curse works on tools?


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