NOTE: Don’t put your name in your book until you are sure it is the correct book, and that you are not going to return it.
But as soon as you are sure you are going to keep the book, print your name and email address on the inside front cover. If you are worried about security, then at least put your initials and an email address on the inner cover. If you are paranoid, go make up a dummy email address firstname.lastname@example.org (the next available paranoid email number) and write it in the cover. It in no way detracts from the value of the book. It went from new to used the second you gave them your credit card.
Why? Because you are going to lose it and that’s a $200 item. If a crook finds it, putting your contact information in it won’t help. It’s gone. If an honest person finds it they will be able to get it back to you.
Without your name in it, an honest person will return it to some office somewhere in the building in which it was found, or the closest building to the outside location where it was found. That office will then hold it until you remember that you did indeed leave it in the Geology building, or on the table outside Pi R Squared, and show up to pick it up. But since you have no idea where you last saw it, and they have no idea who it belongs to, after a year they will discard it since they have no way of returning it to you.
Half-honest people often turn into honest people if your name is in the book. They only keep it because they know if they turn it in to us, there is little chance that we will find the rightful owner.
THIS GOES FOR ALL OF YOUR STUFF. We have boxes of books, boots, bananas, calculators, cell phones, coats, rulers, notebooks, umbrellas, underwear, … in our office that we cannot return, because we have no idea who it belongs to. We call everyone on the list in your cell phone until the battery goes dead, and no one knows whose it might be. And so it sits here while you cough up another $200 for a new one.
At the very least, and certainly during the first few weeks of class, put a folded piece of paper in the book with a way to contact you, or in the backpack, or the pocket of your coat, or … Put a phone number in your phone titled “Owner” or “Mommy”. DO NOT USE THE CELL NUMBER OF THE PHONE IN QUESTION. On keys, put a tag listing Civil Engineering, Room 140, 979-845-7436. That way you won’t be telling someone where to use the keys to rob you, and you can try checking here from time to time.
I have the following policy. Whenever you ask me for help, I say I don’t have a book and suggest we use yours. We then use your book to work the problem. When you start to leave I take the book and put it behind me on my desk. You usually politely say “Uh, that’s my book.” I then say “Oh? Let me check.” If your name is in the book, I say “Oops, sorry, I’m sure glad you wrote you name in it” and return it. Otherwise I say “No, that’s my book. I know, because being paranoid I am always careful not to write my name in my book.” At that time an argument ensues, fighting breaks out, the police are called, and lacking any evidence to the contrary, the book is awarded to me.
PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR STUFF
Electronic Chinese to English Dictionaries
Umbrellas, cups, calculators, notebooks, class notes with no name in it, 8 1/2 by 11 pads of paper. You name it.