Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tiara Talk: Lending Books

Let's talk about lending books.

I don't mean on an e-reader or when the library loans them out to you. I'm talking about YOU lending out books from YOUR own personal library to friends and family.

Once upon a time I would lend out my books to anyone and everyone. I wanted to share the joy of reading with the world! Especially if it was a book that I had loved or the person wanting to borrow a book didn't normally want to read anything. And then, it happened.

I had loaned a book out to the little sister of a good friend and NEVER got it back. This hit me really hard despite the fact that it took me years to finally come to terms with the fact that she was just going to keep the book forever. I thought she was a slow reader or something. A really slow reader. [And because I know someone is going to want to know it was The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene which at the time was my absolute favorite mystery in the series.]

The lending stories get worse. I'd lend a book out to an absolute best friend whom I thought I could trust and I would find out she's passed the book along to every friend and family member she had, some of whom lived hours away! This might have been okay had I been asked first but I never was. Or I'd accept a ride from a friend only to find my precious book bouncing around on the floorboards of their car. Or shoved into a bag at the very bottom. My babies were getting destroyed left and right! I couldn't take it any more.

So I stopped lending completely. I'd make up ridiculous excuses as to why a book couldn't be lent because I couldn't just say no. I wanted to share the love of reading with people, I honestly wanted others to see why I loved a particular book so much or even just reading in general...but not at the cost of my books.

Nowadays I'll only lend my books out to about three people. My Mom, my boyfriend [Why yes both of them do live with me!] and a trusted Aunt who loves to read just as much as I do.

So, do you take the risk? Do you put limitations on who can borrow? Do you run your personal library like the real thing?


  1. I do lend to a small trusted group of bloggers. Never family or friends.
    I used to host blog tours but after two books went missing I gave up. It was too stressful to wonder where my book is and track down people.
    I won't lend out a very treasured copy of a book though. Like an autographed book or something.

  2. I've thought about loaning to a few of my blogger friends but the ones I trust the most I would have to mail the books to them and I don't trust the post office at all. They've lost more books than I can count.

    You make good points and I would never loan out a treasured copy of a book either. If it's signed or an absolute favorite then it stays on my shelf. :]

    Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts!

  3. Oh, I used to be just the same. I would lend out my books to everyone and although I always got them back, sometimes I would see where they were being kept and my heart would stop. This one time, a book that I'd lent to my friend was being stored in her locker. She happened to open it up while I was standing beside her and voila, my book is there - WITH THE COVER HALF TORN OFF. She kind of just laughed and said sorry like it was no big deal. But it is a big deal to me!

    After a few more occurences like that, I kind of just stopped lending. At the very least, I never offered. If someone asks me specifically, I might say yes (I'm a little bit of a pushover LOL) but I also go a little crazy and tell them to protect my baby within an inch of their life.

    The people I let read my books are usually just my mom (I kind of have to force her to read though), my sister and my best friend/her mom.

  4. That's horrible!

    One of the girls I used to be really close with used to store everything in her car. EVERYTHING. One of the books I had loaned her was under a pile of shoes. SHOES! I cringed and guiltily shoved it in my bag. I had to rescue it!

    I just don't understand why people don't take care of books. Even if they aren't a "book lover" surely they understand the concept of taking care of someone elses' property. Grrrr.

    As for loaning them out, I'm a push-over too. That's why I started making up the bogus reasons why people couldn't borrow my books. It's hard to say no sometimes.

  5. I've lent so many books out and never gotten them back. Now I only lend to one good friend my mother and my sister. My sister bashes them up though, they come back all creased and bent but she doesn't see an issue with it. Tbh, I don't really mind if a book is all banged up as long as it's still readable. Most of my friends aren't fussed about reading so I don't have to make excuses which is nice

    The Cait Files

  6. It makes no sense to me why people do the things they do to things they have borrowed.

    For me I don't mind if if a book is creased, worn, or even a little torn [tape works wonders] if I buy it used but if I loan a book out I expect it back in the same condition.

    As for the friends, I was going to say lucky you that you don't have to make excuses but it kind of sucks to not have reading friends. The majority of mine don't read either.

  7. i lent out two and i havent gotten it back and it's been months... i probably should get it back but im afraid to ask =/ help?

  8. Ouch. Always a tricky situation.

    You could always do a subtle lead-in of asking what the borrower thought of the books as a way of finding out if they were read. The person might have even forgot that they had them, it happens.

  9. one of them i know hasnt been read, the other said "yea its good!" but that doesnt tell me if theyre done. i mean, it's been MONTHS.

  10. Okay, in that case I would ask when the borrower thinks they will be done with the book [tell them that there is someone else who is wanting to read the books] and get a set time then hold the borrower to that set time.

    I know it's not always easy to do it but sometimes it has to be done.

  11. that sounds like a great idea! you're awesome thank u!

  12. You're totally welcome. I hope you get your books back soon! :D

  13. Yes, I've lent a book few times.
    Most of them to my friends/schoolmates - those were succesfully returned.

    Then my aunt wanted to read Harry Potter to keep pace with us. She asked me for the first two books. That was like nine years ago.
    Last time I asked her if I could take them back, she got angry that I wouldn't let her read them. Another four years passed since then.
    Wonder if I'll ever see them again. *sigh*

  14. Ouch. Sounds to me as if either you need to purchase them for her as a gift or buy yourself new copies. That's just horrible.

    I would probably try to sneak them out. Not always possible though.

    I hope you get your books back soon. :/

  15. To sneak them out is completely impossible. Since then (but not because of it!) our relationship cooled a bit. I don't feel like asking her again...

    I've already thought of buying a new ones for myself (I don't think she will ever read them) but then again, they were the first HP books I've read!

    Have new plan already - this time I'm going to send my brother to ask her :D

  16. Drats. I was thinking a sneak-out and the old switcheroo might do some good. I can understand why you wouldn't want to bring it up again though. With her being family it makes it harder to navigate the right approach.

    That would be my problem. It's not just the books but the emotional value that comes along with those particular volumes. Most people don't understand that unless they're readers themselves, and not even all readers get it.

    Good luck with your new plan! :D

  17. The hardest thing when lending anything in the family is when they want you to explain why you want the thing back again. Saying "I want/need to use/read it again too" doesn't always work.
    And when they come up with "You don't trust me or what?!"... what to answer then is the question ;)

    Thank you ;)

    BTW - she's a great reader, but apparently something like this never happened to her...

  18. Been there done that. I usually use the excuse of someone else wanting to borrow it. Everyone knows [or did when I lent out books] that I run my collection like a library. Unfortunately people do take advantage and it doesn't always work out. Occasionally I can get away with the "I need it for school" excuse because I'm a Lit major but even that isn't fool-proof.

    I hate the trust question though because you can never come out and admit that you don't trust them and you just want your baby back. xD

  19. I dunno, I always feel just having your books sitting there unread but in good condition is worse than having other people read it :p I lend out my books all the time and sometimes I get them back in a slightly more worn version (haha, i don't really have any horror stories) and i have no issue with that because well.. if i'm not going to reread them, someone else should get the chance!

  20. Yeah, I never lend anymore. Books, music, anything. Never comes back or if it does, it comes back destroyed. I blogged about this awhile back, let's just say tuna sandwich stains, dogs, water, sweat, lost. So many disasters.

    Now I just give my books away and don't want them back. Interestingly, once those people receive the books I give them, no damage ever becomes of them.

    Clearly people who receive books they borrow don't treat them quite the same way they do books they own. (This probably only happens to me, though.)

  21. Audrey, I do have twinges of guilt occasional from keeping all of my awesome books to myself but I just can't bring myself to let someone borrow my book if I know they're just going to trash it. If they get worn through multiple readings I'm okay with it, that's a sign of a well-loved book. But when it's shredded from being shoved somewhere, muddied from being under shoes or any of those things then I find myself just getting annoyed.

    I do see your point though. Your right, the books should be read. I'm more choosy about who gets to read my books [very select few] but I do try to lend them out occasionally.

  22. Tuna fish sandwich stains? Sweat? GROSS. I'll fetch the tar and feathers....kidding. Mostly.

    Interesting theory. I agree for the most part. People do tend to take care of things better when they have ownership. There are a few exceptions to the rule but for the most part it holds true.

    I've been trying to get better about giving books away but it's not always easy.

    Thank you for sharing!