Tuesday, December 16, 2008

lending books!?! do you do it? lets talk!!!!

http://www.orangeville.library.on.ca/cms/pages/images/iStock_000001919262Small.jpg

AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I just let 5 of my "highly recommended" books walk out the door. Am I a Scrooge to write down the girls' names who borrowed them and the titles they took???? Oh, please say I am normal! I have lent books before, but really I would like to not do it. How can I get out of it? I am sure some people LOVE to lend books, I do it reluctantly, if I think I will get them back.

Am I a freak? Am I a selfish-silly? I know I can't be the only book-lover-non-sharing-lover out there, right!? Tell me YOUR system for getting books back, do you hound, hassle and get siggies like at the library? If you don't lend books, how do you do that in a way that is not rude? In all honesty I would feel horrible having the wealth in books that I do and not sharing...but I know it is out of guilt that I share and not out of my desire to enrich the other people's lives.

Give me your thoughts on this, I'd love to hear what you have to say!!! :)

38 comments:

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Yikes...you're a brave one. I generally don't lend. To my brother, who always gives them back in a timely manner and somehow manages to never even crease the spine of a brand new paperback. He's the exception.

For my friends who have borrowed a book and never return it, I simply make recommendations these days.

But I do give a lot of books away. To whoever would enjoy them and give them a happy home. I love sealing a book in an envelope and mailing it off. Makes me happy for some reason.

joemmama said...

I have a little notebook for writing down any books I lend, though I must say I do not loan much anymore. I have a good friend who loved borrowing books and the bad habit of writing notes and phone numbers in INK as if the pages of my books were scrap paper. When she asks, I tell her I have been using the library alot and have no books to lend, or in a bad pinch, that the book is borrowed from someone else. My bad!

Myrthe said...

I don't lend my books, only in exceptional cases. To friends who I know appreciate books like I do and who I know will give the book back. But you have to prove to me you're in that category. Though since I moved to Armenia I have become slightly easier in lending books, because I know how hard it is to find any good books (and especially contemporary literature) in English here. But I still don't lend to just anybody.

Besides, I plan to donate a lot of my English books to a youth NGO I am working with in Armenia. They will move to a new and larger building some time this year and I am pushing them to set up a small library there with books in foreign languages to stimulate reading and learning and improving the foreign languages young people learn at school.

Karen said...

I only lend my books to my very best friends - the ones who know how obsessive I am with my books! I will lend my less loved books to other associates but only if I don't really care if the book comes back or not!

violetcrush said...

You are normal. I HATE to lend books. I only lend it to those I feel will return it back. Usually when they don't i always say please return it as so and so friend wants to read it and she is behind me for ages. Always works without making you look bad.

Meghan said...

I only lend books to two people, my fiance and my mother. My mother is even more careful than I am with books. With the fiance, he can't go off anywhere with it and he will keep them in good condition for me (or else!).

I don't generally have to explain my lending policy to anyone because most of my friends don't read much. It's a shame, but at least my books stay good. The few times that I've actually allowed people to borrow, they haven't read the books in question and just given them back to me. So, not a problem.

Jeane said...

I don't lend my books out. Too many of them never came back. I'd only lend them to someone I knew was going to be faithful about returning them, and treating them well.

Ronda's Rants said...

I never use to lend my books...but now...drum roll please...I am giving them a way! I want everyone to read them and then pass them on. I am keeping just a small amount and I can't add to it so when I want a new one...I have to give a way one. I actual feel really generous about it...tee hee and I don't know why bt it is making me feel really great to give them away.
I understand why you don't want to though!

Bybee said...

I have to lend books here...it's part of the unwritten expat code. Many towns in South Korea have no English-language bookstores, plus books are more expensive here.

bermudaonion said...

I do lend books, but only to certain friends and my mother and sister. I know they will all return the books in the condition they got them in. I learned my lesson years ago when I lent a book to a neighbor who dropped it into the bathtub and returned it like that!

~Kylee in CT said...

I only lend books to my mother and my 14 yo daughter. My mom is really good about returning them in the condition she got them. It may take her awhile to get to a book, but once she starts a book she's done pretty quickly.

My 14yo is less careful, but she tries. There are some books that, as her mom, I think she NEEDS to read. She's in my house, so I know she's not going to do anything bad to it; she's grown up watching me treat books like babies and has developed most of those habits. =)

There are books that I really enjoyed but don't necessarily feel the need to keep and I often will give those away.

Ramya said...

I don't mind lending books - as long as I know that I will definitely get them back. I lend books to a couple of friends and some relatives who love reading.. but I do keep a google document with books lent out and I make sure I get all my books back. Luckily, the people I lend it to are pretty good about returning the books.:)

carmen alexis said...

haha, honestly? I don't like lending myself. But when a friend or family member asks... I just find it so hard to say NO! haha. But me being the foolish person I am (and did not want to offend my already estranged younger sister) let her lend my Eclipse and Breaking Dawn to a friend of hers! I still haven't gotten it back. Oh goshh....

wordlily said...

I do lend books to a few reading friends, plus the occasional one to my dad. It makes me nervous when they're gone for a longer length of time, but I deal. I do usually get them back, and in pretty good condition.

Jen - devourer of books said...

I always keep track when I lend out my books. I go into my LibraryThing catalog, tag the book 'on load' and write in my private comments who it was that borrowed it and when. That way, if the book isn't returned, I can decide whether I want to pester them for it or write it off. Most of my lendees are pretty good about returns (eventually).

S. Krishna said...

You aren't a freak. I only give books to my sister, secure in the knowledge that I will NEVER get them back, so I never give her any of my faves.

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

Definitely not a freak! I have a file on my desktop called "books loaned out" in which I keep track of, well, books loaned out. But I only loan to a few people (like my mom and dad, my best friend, and one neighbor). Otherwise, I give my copy away (if I'm not attached) or just write down the name of the book for the person.

Cathy said...

After learning my lesson, my husband and my best friend are the only two who read my books because they give them back in the same condition in which they were received. Although I've learned to turn loose of my books at last, I still like to send them to new homes in good condition!

beastmomma said...

I have trouble lending out books, especially to people I do not know very well. As a result, I only "lend' someone a book that I am comfortable not seeing anymore. This helps me to not get anxious about getting the book back.

Alea said...

I don't really lend books. Usually not even to my sister because she's pretty rough with them. I also don't like to borrow books from people, cause i feel like i have to read this right away! One time I borrowed a signed David Sedaris book, that was sort of scary but the book was really good!

Ramya said...

one thing that i forgot to mention is the fact that i would NEVER loan out my rushdie books.. i treasure them too much to part with them (even for a brief while).. i don't even like people thumbing through them when they visit me.. weird.. i know!:)

Serena said...

I lend out any books anyone desires to read. I consider it a gift from my soul to theirs.

bookoholic said...

I'll lend to a few "pre-approved" people (i.e. people who know how much I care about my books) and I tag them on my librarything.

However, there is (as Bybee pointed out) the "unwritten expat code," so my Swedish books has to be lent to any fellow Swede who wants to read them.

The Holistic Knitter said...

I've lost so many books by lending them. I'm trying not to be possesive about them, but I hate it when I don't get them back !

Dar said...

I guess I must be mean that way because I simply tell people that I don't lend out my books. Only my mom, my best friend and her mom ever get their hands on my books and that's because I trust them with them. Otherwise no how, no way.

I love your new look. I need some of your talent to change up my blog. I would love something set up like this. Great job.

Seaside Book worm said...

I love your new look. I don't know when you changed it bout looks great.
I lend books to people I know well.
Mainly my friends, and my book club members. I trust people that give me books, so we do exchange. It takes me awhile to get to the book myself so it's not a big deal. If they don't give me the back in a timely fassion which that hasn't happened I gently remind them. I do enjoy passing the word about a good book. This is my way to share.

bibliomom said...

I "share" books with a very small circle. My sister (A Librarian) and my boyfriend. I have no problem giving away books that I didn't particularly enjoy but I keep most of my books with me. They are my treasures and I'm selfish with them I guess.

Bee Bee said...

I hate to lend my books, I have lost too many of them to be generous. So of late, I have stopped lending books.But sometimes, it is difficult to say no.

Veens said...

God! So many answers ;)
I am skeptical as well! But I do lend to my really good friends.. and i didn't get back... SO I am not going to lend in the future..w/o getting em back :(

stacybuckeye said...

I love to lend books. I have this pack of bookmarks that I use if I'm afraid of not getting the book back. There's a tab where you write the book, date, and who borrowed it. You tear off the pretty bookmark and there is a place at the top where you write your name and the date. I have never failed to get a book back when I've placed this bookmark with the book.

bkclubcare said...

Yes, I lend books and do it willingly. I try to write down (and now I'm keeping track on goodreads.com) who gets it and YES, I do hound them to get it back. Usually, I hound them to tell me if they liked it and if they hadn't read it in a reasonable time, I demand it back. Not a big deal; I explain that when I lend it that I WILL very much want it back! If they agree, then all is justified. (actually I don't keep many books and end up listing them on bookmooch.)

Jena said...

Levenger, a few years ago, offered a fancy set of old-style library lending cards. or you can go to teacher supply stores and get the pockets and cards. (as a teacher, I ordered them in bulk).

I don't lend out too many at a time. B. has The Book Thief, A. has Beauty, T. has had one of my Deerskins for eight years. my sister has several. P. wants to borrow my HP series in a few months.

and I certainly don't lend any that I would be absolutely distraught to lose (like autographed or out-of-print books) unless I absolutely trusted the person to return it.

mostly, I cycle my books (read & release)--it keeps me from needing more space for shelves. Bookcrossing.com is lovely for this.

timbo said...

You loan 'em, you probably lose 'em.

Think of it as a Christmas present to your friends.


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jessi said...

I am the wrong person to ask about this. I am constantly lending my books out, then kicking myself when they disappear, or come back damaged. My biggest loss was when one of my college roommates "borrowed" my first edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (the one with the mistake in it), even though he had a copy that was somewhere in his messy black hole of a room. He ended up loosing my copy, but "replaced" it with his own - which was NOT a first edition and had no dust jacket, a cracked spine, and was just generally falling apart. I was so mad! But mostly at myself, because I still haven't learned my lesson. :)

regularrumination said...

I absolutely love to lend books out to people, but it does come with some consequences. Sometimes I never get some of my favorites back and i can never remember who I lent them to in the first place. I guess maybe I too should start writing down who I lend the books to! I usually get them back, but there's the odd one that never makes it back to my shelf.

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Josette said...

Haha! I guess it's normal to feel restless when you lend out your favourite books. I'll be like that too if I were to loan them out. This is why I rarely lend my books to others. When I'm in a good mood, then I might lend.

*claire* said...

I'm also a very reluctant lender. When I lend my books I do feel good for sharing, but then I obsess over them until I get them back!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the The LEND and BORROW Book. It keeps track of all those things lent out to family and friends and you can stop losing all your favourite stuff.
www.lendandborrow.com.au