Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good Friends Let Friends Borrow Books?

As book lovers we enjoy the company of good books, right. Sometimes book prices run up to $20 for just one book. But, the fun times spent with books is priceless, agree? So, as good friends that we might be, should we let friends borrow our books, share the fun?

Do I have library written on my forehead?, I told my friend after persuading me to let her borrow one of my most precious books? I admit that I'm easy to be convinced. But, this left me with an annoyed look on my face. Upon a moment of weakness and as the nice friend that I am, I said yes. While, this left me quite upset that I had to.... (I didn't know what else to say)

Let's explore the risks of trusting friends with your valuable books:

  1. Joy of sharing the love of books.
  2. The friend has the opportunity to read something they otherwise wouldn't be able to read. (for money reasons etc.)
  1. Risk of losing the book.
  2. Risk of damage on the book.
  3. Risk of unsatisfied friends. (they didn't like the book!, now they are complaining)
  4. Risk of friend's letting other people borrow them.
  5. Risk of friend not wanting to pay for the book in case of damage on book.
Now, I know I don't reread books. Why not give it a good use by letting friends borrow them? What's the price to pay? Not getting it back losing your book. I know that I work hard to earn money for books, so how annoying and heart-breaking would it be for someone to destroy your book. Damage it, or even worse the risk of never seeing it again !
Definition of the word borrow: "to take or obtain with the promise to return the same or an equivalent"
The definition says to return same or equivalent. In other words it's like permitting the other person to do what they will with it! Luckily, I got my book back. But, it made me almost have a heart attack had I not gotten it back. I'm extremely OCD about how my books are treated. For instance, I don't write in them, dog-hear pages, or eat around them. I sure don't want other people mistreating my books!

Where's the etiquette in people who borrow books and don't give them back? That just make me burst in anger. It is very impolite, rude, and disrespectful. I am irritated of this happening to innocent people. With all this said, is it worth it?

  1. There are some exceptions to this, if the person is an avid reader with your same feelings towards books, you can make an exception.
  2. If the person is practically hesitated to read the book.
  3. If its a trustworthy friend.
  4. If you don't want the book back =)

My verdict: It isn't worth letting unmannerly people borrow your beloved books. On the other hand, not everyone is the same. It's hard to know what your in for! The risks outweigh the pros.

Q: Can you let me borrow this book?
A: Not going to happen!

Simple Solutions:
  1. Suggest they get it from the library.
  2. Offer to gift the person the book they book they want. For a special occasion like their birthday or Christmas?
  3. Strongly express your true feelings for books, and say you simply can't. They should understand! Then they know not to ask.
I digress, I'm not in the position to lend out books, they are special to me, they are my pride and my joy. I will not take "book abuse" on my books!

ABC's On Lending/ Borrowing:

If you loan something out, don't expect to get it back
at all. If you cannot live with that thought,don't
make the loan. If you borrow something, treat it as
the most precious and valuable item on the planet. Return the item
promptly and heaven forbid, if you lose it or damage it,
tell the truth. Then move heaven and earth to repair or
replace it while apologizing profusely.

(Doesn't exist in our world today)


BookFanatic said...

Great topic! You love to debate =) I strongly believe in not letting other people touch my books. I do make exceptions, but they are rare. I agree on not letting friends borrow my priceless books. They know not to ask now!

Allison said...

This makes me think of how a girl I sit next to in class offered to let be borrow Fallen. We were just talking about a ton of other books. I barely know her too! I didn't think people offered to let someone borrow their precious books. Now I'm feeling guilty when I tell her that I need a few more days to read it. It makes me feel like I'm taking advantage of the fact that she let me borrow it. Though I do tell her she'll get her book back looking even better than when she gave it to me...

Linda said...

There are very few books I won't lend due to signed copy/expensive & irreplacable.
I tend to get the majority of books from the library so I cannot lend them to a friend.
I do occassionally share books with friends which usually works out ok.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Great topic! I have an internal debate over this too, but actually with ALL my books. I'm OCD about my books being in PERFECT condition, so I have to know beforehand that they take good care of books. I still lend books a times because I love spazzing over them with friends though. :)

Arya said...

Cool post! I'm very picky about my books and I had a friend that was too, her's were pristine. And we decided to let each other borrow books, and it went okay for a while but then the books started coming back damaged. I didn't know what to tell her and it was a really uncomfortable situation. I wouldn't suggest letting people borrow book unless its a book you don't care about either.

Shanyn said...

I let someone borrow one of my books recently and she brought it back with something spilled on it and the binding ruined. And she keeps asking to borrow the next book in the series. I wouldn't normally mind, but I had planned on keeping this series on my shelf, and now that one is ruined :(

On the other hand, I really really take care to be extra careful when someone lets me borrow a book. I don't eat anything as I read and I turn the pages without bending anything because I am so appreciative that they let me borrow.

I guess in the future I will have to loan a book I don't care about as much first to see how they treat it before giving them any others.

Christina T said...

I used to let people borrow my books until I was in college and some of my favorite books came back with pages stuck together, etc. I was so angry but of course I didn't say anything to the friends who borrowed the books. I just decided that I would not loan out my books anymore unless it was a book I didn't care for. My sister gives me a hard time about how careful I am with my books. According to her I barely crack the book open and peer at the pages. She is the type who would leave a book hanging open over the arm of a chair if a bookmark wasn't handy. When she expressed interest in Twilight, rather than loaning her my pristine copy, I bought it for her for an early Christmas gift.

I think it is a wise idea not to loan books unless it is a book you wouldn't mind giving away.

KatieDoll said...

There are only two people I will ever loan my books to; my mom and my cousin. It might sound bad, but I refuse to give them out to anybody else. I spend so much money on books, and I don't like to run the risk of somebody damaging them. I've been gracious in the past; I let anybody who asked borrow them. But after having to buy Twilight for the forth time, I put it a stop to it.

I treat my books like they're my babies, so unless I know the person treats them the same, that's where I draw the line at my niceness.

Miss Remmers said...

While I understand your reasoning, I'd disagree. I'll borrow anyone a good book. I don't think the possibility of finding a love of literature can have a price on it. If someone asks to borrow a book, I feel that by denying them that I am denying them the possibility of finding a love of literature. If I need to repurchase a book - I can do that.

Mary (The Sweet Bookshelf) said...

I totally re-read books. Which is why I want my books back!!!

I am so against lending books since this last episode. My books were returned having been abused! I only read them once, and they look like they were stomped on, dragged through the mud, and folded in half! It is ridiculous! Why do people think it's OK to not return a book in a decent amount of time and without damage!

I'd even buy new books, but my sister bought me the hardback and inscribed it to me! I can't get a new one! I'm never lending again!

Kris said...

I actually love lending books -- to a few select people. If they're a family member, a close friend, or someone I see often (and I know where they live!), I'm more than happy to let them borrow my books. They can even take a handful of them and borrow them for months at a time. But, if that person was to seriously mess with my books? Well, that would definitely be the end of their book-borrowing privilege. Luckily, that hasn't really happened to me yet. :)

Cleverly Inked said...

I only let a few people use/borrow my books. Some I never see again. (I take notes) In the end if I really loved the book and some thing has happened to it I would ask my friend to replace it. LOVE THIS TOPIC

Martha Lawson said...

Don't let any one borrow my books! The few times I did, never saw the book again! So I don't lend, that's what the library is for.

Diana said...

I only let people borrow my book that I know will take good care of them and have the same love for them as I do. If I know that the person doesn't really take good care of a book I rather just give them the book than get it back all ruined. It's what I did to a friend that I knew wasn't into reading a lot and the first thing he did was crack the spine!

Stephanie said...

I'm very picky about who I let borrow my books. The first time I ever lent a book to anyone, I let my cousin borrow my 4th harry potter book, and never saw it again. After waiting for about 4 years I just went out and bought another one.

But not everyone is terrible about borrowing books. I let one of my moms friend borrow my twilight book. She took a while to give it back, but when she did I noticed it was much nicer than when I gave it to her. She told me she left the book in her car with the windows down and the book got wet, so she bought me a new one, which was very nice of her!

So, I guess it really comes down to how I'm feeling that day and who is actually asking to borrow the book.

Holly said...

Books are made to be read, I think it is slightly selfish for books to be stored on a shelf and only read once. That's why I like to pass them on, lend them out, etc.

Book Monster said...

Great post!! Totally agree. I'm a only child, so I find it hard to share---period. Which sounds bad, but it's me.

browneyedgirl said...

I've had this very same dilemma hit me a few times. Once, I let my brother's girlfriend at the time borrow my Twilight. I wasn't exactly thrilled about the condition it came back in. I take care of my books, they're like an extension of me, and seeing pages bent, and smudges of who knows what on it, it made me cringe. But, I've let other friends borrow a few books, and they've come back in good condition. I think it depends on who you let borrow them, if they will take care with it. One friend even told me she was afraid to open a book too wide because she didn't want to crack the spine, that she wanted me to get it back in it's same condition!

librarypat said...

I do reread books. If I have it, it is because it is a keeper. I also collect old books.

I do loan my books out, but have been burned over the years. I loaned a trilogy to a friend and never saw them again. I don't know if she felt I didn't want them back because I'd read them, or just forgot. Either way, they were a loan, not a gift.
I've worked at a library and the number of books that aren't returned is awful. I've never understood the mindset. People will throw them out, give them to other people, or sell them. They don't belong to you. It is stealing.

I am more careful now, and keep my loaning within my family and a few (very few) close friends. They are people that, if I don't get my book back, I can go to their house and get it.

I guess the old adage - "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" - holds true for books as well as money.

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