26 January 2009

Musing Mondays: Lending

Here's this week's MM hosted by Rebecca over at Just One More Page. Be sure to click on over to her blog to see the complete meme and to see what everyone else has to say.

I was wondering what your policy was on lending books. Do you lend books to anyone? Just friends? Only big readers? How long are they allowed to have them?

Actually, I hate lending my books and rarely do so. My parents and brothers are pretty much the only people I trust with my books because (1) they remember to return them and (2) they treat them with care.

I have had many unfortunate experiences with lending books: I never see the book again, it comes back dog-eared, the spine is broken, or there are food or water stains on the book cover or pages. I try to think of some gentle excuse to get out of lending.

To be fair, I don't borrow books from friends either. Although I know that I'll return the book and keep it in good condition, it's not right to borrow if I won't lend.


Alea 1/26/09, 9:24 AM  

I'm pretty much like you too. But I don't usually let my family borrow books either (not that they would want to borrow them). I've had people basically make me take their books to read and I feel bad but they are like no you must! One time I read a signed David Sedaris book and read it as fast as possible to give it back! I was like this cannot get harmed!

NAVAL LANGA 1/26/09, 9:29 AM  

I have read some of your posts and would like to revisit.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a visit to my blogs would be an interesting one for you.

Naval Langa

Literary Feline 1/26/09, 10:30 AM  

I am selective about who I loan my books out too. I'm very clear about my expectations when I do loan out books, in particular to people who may not yet know my quirks. I learned the hard way never to loan out books I'm not willing to lose.

Beth F 1/26/09, 10:35 AM  

Alea: I would have been so nervous to have borrowed that book!

Naval: thanks for the invite -- I'll check out your blogs.

Wendy/Literary Feline: That's is good advice: never lend what you don't want to lose.

Alea 1/26/09, 10:37 AM  

I was! I was like no I think that's ok I'll go get a copy from the library and they were like no no it's fine! And funny enough now I have my very own copy of the same book signed!

S. Krishna 1/26/09, 10:56 AM  

If I ever lend my sister books, they tend to disappear. So frustrating!

Anonymous,  1/26/09, 10:59 AM  

I've had a few bad experiences with lending books, too (I'm still bemoaning my loss of "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean) so what I do now is give away the books that aren't "keepers," with no expectations about getting them back. I'm happy to pass on books that I've read once and liked but because of space limitations in my house, I can't keep forever. If someone asks to borrow a book I can't bear to part with, I usually fib and say I'm not done reading it yet... which is sort of true, because I always intend to re-read the great ones!
Sarah Pekkanen

Becca 1/26/09, 12:50 PM  

Hey Beth, I tagged you today for a short meme because you write a wonderful blog! :)

Anonymous,  1/26/09, 1:15 PM  

I don't lend out books anymore either. I've lost too many of my favorites that way.

BTW, I love your challenge counters! I might have to "borrow" that idea to organize mine. :)

Breezey375 1/26/09, 3:19 PM  

I rarely lend books. Occasionally to my grandmother, aunt, and cousin. My cousin currently has my entire collection of Christine Feehan Dark series books. I fear I may never see them again!

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) 1/26/09, 3:27 PM  

The worst experience I ever had was when I loaned my Bible (which was a gift from my cousin) to a friend and didn't see it for 8 years! They moved to Virginia, gave it to a mutual friend that was visiting them to give back to me, but then ended up in storage for a few more years until I finally got it back late last year! It doesn't look new anymore either. I was just thankful I got it back, but NEVER again! That was a hard lesson learned.

Beth F 1/26/09, 4:06 PM  

Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences. I let a friend borrow a book of Emerson's essays once -- a hardbound book that I loved. It came back with the pages falling out and the bottom of the book had been dunked in water cause she read it in the tub! ARGH.

Stacy 1/26/09, 4:21 PM  

I rarely borrow books either but if I do the lender knows they will come back in the same condition they loaned them. I guess the question is why would someone borrow a book and not return it, or why would they return it all beat up? Things that make you go hmmm...

Anonymous,  1/26/09, 4:45 PM  

I rarely borrow books from friends, either. What if they get lost or the dog eats them?

Sunny 1/26/09, 5:09 PM  

I haven't been burned too much, but I think if it got out of hand like that I would also be a lot more selective in who I lend books to.

Nise' 1/26/09, 5:31 PM  

After reading everyone's thoughts on lending, I don't feel so bad for being a bit reluctant to lend them out. In fact, my dearly beloved books are kept on a separte shelf away from the ones I will lend out!

Kim 1/26/09, 11:23 PM  

While I am pretty relaxed about lending, there is a special section of books that I would never lend out!

Anonymous,  1/27/09, 12:24 AM  

I lend out books to friends/readers who I know would treat the books with care as much as I do. But I extend this courtesy to very few people.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) 1/27/09, 6:08 AM  

I don't really lend out books either. I lend to my mom because I know that she will give them back r I can just take them back eventually, and she believes in taking care of books. Other times I have lent books and either gotten them back in terrible condition or not at all, so I stopped. Now I just give books away if I know that I enjoy the book but don't want it in my collection.

Melody 1/27/09, 10:34 PM  

I'm quite particular about who to lend my books to, and they've to be people I know and trust! But since most of my friends don't read as much as I do, they spare me this problem. ;)

Lenore Appelhans 1/29/09, 10:02 AM  

I lend books. I write down who has what in a notebook and follow up if it has been a while.

Anonymous,  1/29/09, 9:25 PM  

I trust my family and one friend with my books. I learned my lesson when I lent a book to a neighbor and she dropped it in the bathtub.

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