I’m very protective of my books.
Firstly, because I had to spend my hard earned money to get them.
Secondly, because I don’t buy books “just” for buying sake. I carefully think about the potential purchases; the author, the subject matter, the shelf life, and whether I will read it more than twice.
So If I lend you a book, I probably hold you in high regard. My books are my babies and I treat them as such. They are categorized, alphabetized and kept at a cool temperature at all times.
I’m always quick with a recommendation and if I think you’ll really benefit from the book and I have it in my possession, I will lend it to you. This is always with the assumption that it will be returned.
While taking inventory of my book collection recently, I realized that I’ve been too lenient and therefore I’m no longer loaning books. TO ANYONE.
If you’re one of those who I’ve loaned books to in the past and wondering why I’m instituting this rule, allow me to explain:
You fail to return the book in the same condition that you received it.
There were no dog ears or bent pages when I gave you the book, don’t return it that way. I didn’t have a pink highlighter in my damn book either. Don’t take it upon yourself and highlight your favorite passages in MY book. There may have been some highlighting when I let you borrow it but it’s mine, I’m allowed to do that. You are not.
You ask for the book and don’t read it.
Don’t ask me to lend you a book and then don’t read it. Nothing irritates me more than asking your thoughts on the book two weeks after I’ve loaned it to you, only for you to tell me that you haven’t started it yet. WTF?! So why the hell did you ask for or accept the book? Do not take a book if you have no plans on reading it right away. A couple days or even a week after the fact I can accept. Any time after that and you haven’t even cracked the spine or gone past the 1st chapter is unacceptable.
You don’t know when to return the book.
Listen, I understand that you loved the book and would like to read it again when you have time. That’s all fine and dandy but you have to buy your own book for that. You have approximately 3 days upon completion of the book to return it to its rightful owner. Do not keep the book and put it on your nightstand or bookshelf. It is not yours. Think of me as a library. Once you are done, you need to return. If you like the book so much, buy your own copy. I LOANED you the book, not gave it to you. Return it to its original owner ASAP.
Now, most of the people I lend books to aren’t like this but you know what they say: One bad apple spoils the whole bunch. I cannot lend my good books out to people anymore not knowing if or when I will get them back and in what condition. As of today, my new rule is in full effect: I’m no longer loaning books!
Fellow book nerds, do you loan out your books? Let me know why or why not in the comments below!