Will you ever lend your books?

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.

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. One of my Jonathan Kellermans book jacket was missing when it arrived in my home. The guilty party did not even show his face.
  4. 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.
  5. My Harry Potter book got a coffee stain from a friend. I nearly committed murder. And I was almost exaggerating the previous sentence.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

[credits to: breitlinks.com]

[credits to: breitlinks.com]

Steve and I also discussed this: how to take care of your books.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Refrain from drinking or eating while reading. If you can’t help it, be extremely careful not to drop or spill anything.
  7. Keep your books away from the young unless you want them to vandalize your collection. Same holds true with pets.
  8. 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.

20 thoughts on “Will you ever lend your books?

  1. The only time I will lend my books is when I know for a fact that the borrower takes as much care of their books as I take care of mine. One time I lent a Harry Potter book and it was returned to me with definitions written all over the first few pages. Thank goodness they were in pencil. Another friend of mine asked to borrow a Sophie Kinsella book, and the moment I handed it to her she folded back the cover. I shrieked and refused to let her borrow it. I could go on and on. Only yesterday I discovered that a book I lent a while ago had a torn page. =[

  2. I know what you mean! I’ve never been able to write in a book – ever. And when I’m done reading one, it looks like new. I also choose the people I lend my books to now after a few unfortunate experiences. Much to my horror, one time, I actually damaged a borrowed book; my klutzy hands dropped it down a flight of stairs in the subway station. I felt so bad that I actually went out and bought a new one.

  3. One of my books met my mom’s dog. The top corner is chewed on but thankfully still legible. I very rarely lend my books out because I am so picky about how they need to be cared for. 🙂

  4. One time in boarding school I lent my favourite harry potter book (Book 5) to a friend who ended up giving it out to other people and it took him a month of me nagging to return it and it was in the worst state ever. I actually cried over it. Pages were torn and almost 50 pages were missing. I learnt my lesson that day and now I only lend my books to my cousin cos she loves books just as much as I do and so she handles them delicately. I totally get how attached you get to books.

  5. I honestly don’t understand what it is about bibliophiles and not creasing their books’ spines. :)) I had always honestly thought it was natural to crease the book spines because it was a sign that the book was being read, but I guess I’m in the minority. :))

    I’ve stopped lending out books to people when some books I lent out never even made it back to me. I only lend books now to very close friends whom I trust with my books (luckily they’re bibliophiles as well).

  6. Well it’s nice to have my name up on your site but i do need to find myself a new job title hehe. when we have a copy of any book, it is our copy our memories are associated not just with the text but with the cover. Any other cover just isn’t the same so to keep our copies is so important.

    Anything beyond 45 degrees is madness and should be banned….it will be when you are ruler.

  7. I have lent books out before. But ever since I got my iPad mini, I have no need for the actual books. I’ve actually been selling most of my books in favour of having a digital copy. I can usually sell the books for more then what the digital copy is worth anyways. Win win for me =-D

  8. LOL @ your point 1! I will never ever ever ever ever lend my books out! I refuse! People have no respect for others books at all. I once had the cover of my favourite book in the world burnt with a cigarette – this I saw on a visit! I promptly took the book back before they finished reading it. And that was my last lesson to learn!

  9. I’m glad to see that someone else out there takes care of their books like I do (in ways that a great deal of others would likely consider verging on insane haha).
    And no, I do not lend anything to people – LEAST of all my books. At least not anymore.
    After spending weeks nearly having anxiety attacks 24/7 while people were borrowing, I decided to just keep them to myself.
    I would definitely rather buy a friend a book than let them borrow mine.
    🙂

  10. I have always had an extensive library and one time I lent a book and it was so completely destroyed all I got back was the cover…needless to say I never lent a book again. I was raised to care meticulously for my books and couldn’t bring myself to let another book from my collection get hurt. LOL. I decided it was much better to gift books if people asked about mine and leave mine neatly arranged by author and set on my shelves. 🙂

  11. I lend a book when I absolutely want someone to read something. Normally I lend my favorite book, Infinite Jest, to encourage others to read it!

  12. If the book I bought wasn’t a good read, I’d lend it to to someone and wouldn’t care whether it would be returned to me in a good condition or never returned to me at all. But if it was a very good read, I wouldn’t lend it to someone else unless that person has a book to exchange with me, but I’d appreciate it if he/she really took care of my book.

  13. Nope, I will never lend my book to anyone, except to a person whom I have known for my whole life, like a younger cousin with a good temperament 🙂 But since I read books that are mostly “scary” to girls then no one actually borrowed mine LOL Oh do you read a thriller or books about murders? If you do, do you have a recommendation? 😀 Sorry if I sounded like a murderer, this is just a “hidden” hobby LOL

  14. nobody cares about our books like we do, its a sad situation 🙁
    most of them consider them to be useful only until they finish it, as i have found out with my own experiences of lending books to others 😐

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