Do you love books like me? Have you ever had the feeling of wanting to read a book which you didn’t have a copy? Aside from the library, have you tried borrowing somewhere else, like from a friend’s book shelves? Reversing the situation, have you experienced lending books to others? How did it go? Would you let others borrow from you again?
I remember having a similar conversation with a fellow blogger, Steve, who also happened to be my male lady-in-waiting and imperial book chooser (Ha! I gotcha). We exchanged some nightmarish experiences we had in lending books and our extreme ways of caring for them. This memory inspired this post where I’d share to you what I had after putting my books on loan, so to speak.
- My Cinderella pop-up book was returned by a childhood friend after accidentally pulling Prince Charming’s head. Later, she commented that it looked good on her male paper doll. After that, I learned not to discount kids for liking beheading of their species. LOL
- Upon return, I checked my Jonathan Livingston Seagull copy. I learned from my mistakes! Seeing nothing different, I breathed a sigh of relief. Only when I re-read it few years after did I notice that two pages were missing – a text and a photo of him flying.
- One of my Jonathan Kellermans book jacket was missing when it arrived in my home. The guilty party did not even show his face.
- My Nancy Drew hardbound collection piece was returned with pages filled with crayon scribbles. My book unfortunately met a toddler in the borrower’s house.
- My Harry Potter book got a coffee stain from a friend. I nearly committed murder. And I was almost exaggerating the previous sentence.
- Constantine’s movie tie-up book was returned to me with highlighted texts and dog-eared pages! I almost fainted when I saw them. I haven’t talked to the borrower since.
- I received a copy of For One More Day as a gift from a special friend. Someone wished to read it so I lent it. It was never returned.
There were too many other bad experiences I had lending my books. It is sad to have my dearly loved children be massacred by those who don’t even know the value of each piece. Whenever I think of how I take care of them, I feel unhappy when I look at their current state.
Now that I have learned that not everyone feels the same way with books. I am afraid to lend my precious ones to others, especially my favorites. In no way I will lend my collector’s first edition of Clockwork Princess for one! Steve and I agreed on this: If a person likes to read one of our favorites, we will just gift him/her a new copy.
Steve and I also discussed this: how to take care of your books.
- Cover them properly. I use thick plastic for this. I wrap it tightly over the covers, not letting any air to be inside. I want the plastic to stick so securely that there will be no “bumps” when I check them under the light.
- Open and read your books in a 45-degree angle. Or smaller. This will guarantee that you won’t have any crease in your book’s spine.
- Never put dog-ears in the pages. Use appropriate bookmarks instead. There are various designs to choose from so you can pick anything you fancy.
- Use book bags. Stuffing your loved ones in a cramp space of your shoulder bag will only result to deformed books. Why would you want that?
- Or as Steve suggested, use your trusty hands to lift hardbound books instead. This will ensure that there will be no folded pages after. Good for travelling or walking.
- Refrain from drinking or eating while reading. If you can’t help it, be extremely careful not to drop or spill anything.
- Keep your books away from the young unless you want them to vandalize your collection. Same holds true with pets.
- Always bring something to protect you from the elements. I don’t know why others do this, but why do they think a book is shaped like an umbrella? How many times have we seen people running under the rain with a book over their heads? Countless!
Some of you might think that I am weird by stating all those in the two lists. I know that what is inside is more important, but I can’t stop myself in seeing to the physical welfare of these printed dearies. I guess this is just my way of repaying them for how they made my life more interesting.
Have you tried lending a book before? How do you take care of your books?
P.S. Don’t forget to join my fashion giveaway here. Open internationally.