As a book lover I’m all about sharing my love of reading with the next person. Especially when it is a fabulous book and I really want other people to experience it.
But over the years I’ve come to realize I hate lending out my books!
“But Why Tabitha!? – You are a book pusher!”
Because most people I know don’t have the same love and respect of books that I do. Not only that, I find many folks when something isn’t theirs – they just aren’t as careful with the thing they are borrowing. This isn’t true for everyone – I do know some people that are just as OCD about keeping their books pristine as I am (though I feel like I’m the only person I know that is quite as crazy about it as me.)
These are some of my nightmare experiences from having lent out my books.
– I’ve lent books and had them NEVER be returned.
“Oh yeah that book, I misplaced it somewhere sorry.”
“Oh I don’t know where it is. I’ll look for it later.”
“Sorry I didn’t know you’d want it back so I gave it to someone else when I was done with it.”
“Yeah I’ll get it back to you” ….moves away and never hear from person again (yes this seriously happened!)
I’m much more choosey now a days about who gets to come near my books.
– I’ve lent a book and the person didn’t realize I wanted it back and so thus read it in the bathroom, in the bathtub, bent the cover and wrapped it around the back of the book (WHO DOES THAT TO BOOKS!? ahhhhh). When I asked for it back they were like:”
“Oh I didn’t know you would want it back! – I kind of took it everywhere with me and it’s a little beat up now.”
Luckily they felt so bad for the state the book was then in…essentially waterlogged and destroyed that they bought me a new one. I have only ever had one person, this lovely lady, who actually replaced the book they damaged. So kudos there! I personally would feel so awful if I borrowed something and damaged it in anyway that I would of course replace the book! Sadly I don’t know many other people that seem to feel the same (unless they are a obsessed book lover like I am).
– Stains of questionable origin!! I’ve had books returned to me with all sorts of stains within the pages as well as covering the entirety of the hardcover outside. What do people do – use the blasted book as a freaking EATING TRAY?? Do they not wash their hands and then just go grabby grabby to the book? I’m sure young children have something to do with some of the stains as well.
– Torn covers, bent covers, missing covers! Thankfully after one or two incidents of ripping the hardcover jacket I now remove the dust jackets before lending hardcovers (and there is really only one person I trust with a hardcover with the jacket on – my lovely Gosia).
– Dog eared pages!
– Been told they threw it across the room! Why would you do that!?
“Because I just get so upset sometimes!”
So you throw someone else’s belongings across the room!?
– Used as a DRINK COASTER! WTF to the disrespect!
– They borrowed it and not returned it for 6 months to a year. Yeah, ok this to me is just ODD! Not that I had planned to read it again at that moment or anytime soon – but who borrows something for that long? – might as well buy your own copy!
– I have more nightmare experiences but probably best I not share them. There are eyes everywhere!
Now because of those I’m less likely to loan out my books PLUS These are some of the thoughts that go through my head when someone asks to borrow one of my books. And what I do if I do actually loan one out.
– Have I ever been to that person’s house and seen where they keep their books, and the state of their books? Do they have books in their bathroom *this is a big no no to me*
– Have they ever borrowed anything else of mine and not treated it well? Or not returned it in a timely manner?
– What is the state of their house, cleanliness, and do they have small children? (Am I mean for thinking about these things?!?)
– I keep a tracking spreadsheet for my books that leave the house. Yes…I’m that OCD – If I do happen to loan out a book, I write down all the books they take and I then put them into a tracking list and their name alongside it – so I always know where the book is. I haven’t gotten to the level of putting the date borrowed in there like the library does – but hey there’s a new idea for me haha!
– If they want to borrow it I lend it with the caveat that I’d like them to write a book review. People rarely ever follow thru. Yeah I’m weird its like saying:
“Oh you want to borrow my book, well you have to do homework for it.”
So do you lend out your books? Who do you lend them out to? Do they have to meet some of your unspoken criteria before you’ll lend one? And oooo TELL ME A LENDING HORROR STORY IF YOU HAVE ONE!