I like to lend people books.

Really, it is worse than that. I press books into the unwilling hands of people who have incautiously said something that reminded me of some book. “You’ll love this!” I say, ignoring the fact that I have perhaps never seen them with a book and that they have never mentioned reading a book.

Cleverboots escaped by saying flatly “I don’t read,” but most people don’t think of doing that.

Thus it is that my books sometimes stay loaned out for a long time. The borrowers (and I use the term loosely) never get around to reading the books, and they know I am the kind of person who will ask how they liked it when they bring it back, so they just keep the book. Sometimes for years.

This has a positive side.

That Man returned a stack of books to me yesterday which I had completely forgotten I owned. Several vegetarian cookbooks, it was, and an omnibus of five P.G. Wodehouse novels.

Pretty exciting, that. I can now look forward to Thai Noodles with Garlic Chives and rereading The Old Reliable.

My menfolks have a term for vegetarian recipes: “side dish.”

There is a scene in one of Wodehouse’s short stories in which Bingo and Bertie find themselves in a ladylike cafe, lunching upon something like half a grapefruit, cocoa, and a macaroon instead of the customary veal chop, pommes frites, and English peas. This is how my boys would feel if I offered them Broccoli Risotto Torte for dinner.

I am continuing with my studies at work. I have moved on from “Que busca?” and “Le puedo ayudar?” to “Necesito X” and “Donde esta Y?” If a Spanish-speaking customer comes in this week, I shall perhaps be able to understand what she wants, but I will have to take her arm and lead her silently over to the item. Maybe next week I will learn things that mean, “Right this way.”

I have also been indexing and achieving saturation and working on the old SEO right and left. I spent yesterday increasing my link popularity (link management, as you know, is something to which the good e-commerce maven devotes an hour or two a day). One of the suggestions for this was to write an article on some topic that allows you to plug a link or two into the text, and submit it to one of the surprisingly large number of sites that exist for people to snag articles from.

I was surprised by this because I often run into things that I have written, without attribution, here and there on the web. The idea that there are sites where you can legitimately offer up your writing for free when there is apparently very little embarrassment about cutting and pasting seems odd.

However, it also seems worth a try.

Do you have any suggestions for a topic? What, in the field of education, seems sufficiently broad and non-controversial that people will want to post it on their websites in order to increase their content (another thing you do when seeking to improve page rankings)?

My current writing assignments are a press release, an article on Swiss immigrants, and a romance novel outline.

Variety is good.