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Episode Discussions > Ep 99 What are you lending habits?

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message 1: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 251 comments We babbled on and on about our book lending selfishness. What is your policy?


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate | 51 comments I lend carefully. Mostly when I lend I really don't want the book back so if it is damaged or misplaced, I am never that sad. I usually do not lend anything valuable ( signed or a real favorite) except to my sister-in-law who is as careful as I am. I rethought my lending policy with book group reads. I have a dear, close friend in one of my clubs who would always rather we "share" a book, especially if we HAVE to buy it in hardback ( because it is new and the library wait list is too long). She eats when she reads and if I read second, I can tell what her meals were for the days she was reading. It grosses me out, so I now read first or buy it on my e-reader (which is usually my last choice to read) or accept it gracefully and then buy another copy.


message 3: by Elizabeth☮ (last edited May 06, 2014 02:03PM) (new)

Elizabeth☮ I give my books to people. I have one friend I lend books to and they are always returned promptly (even library books).

In the past, I would lend books and then forget who had what. I did lend a book to a supervisor once and I would ask her regularly if she had read it. After a year or so, I politely asked if she could return the book. She did with a nice note inside apologizing for keeping it so long without reading it.

I had a friend at work that ruined two of my books. One she spilled coffee on and the other feel into some liquid laundry detergent. It was kind of funny and lucky for her these weren't treasured books.

As a teacher I learned a hard lesson about letting students borrow my books. I had a student willing to do extra credit so I gave him all of my Sandra Cisneros books to use for his project. In the end, I didn't get any of them back. He claimed they were stolen out of his car (as if). He gave me the money for all of them, but that didn't matter.

And when I worked at Borders, we could take books home and read them. If they were in the same condition as when they left the store, the books were simply returned to the shelves! Can you imagine? That "new" book you bought could have had quite a journey with a bookseller.

Thanks for choosing my topic.


message 4: by Louise (new)

Louise | 154 comments I have three categories of books:

Books I've read once, think are ok or worse - and not written by authors I collect. These I give to family members, book club friends or co-workers.

Books that I want to keep, but they are not expensive editions or hard to re-aquire. Friends I see regularly can borrow those.

Books that are signed, dedicated by a friend, rare and out of print or in a series of matching editions. They don't leave the house - except with me of course :-)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I have learned the hard way never to lend a book unless I don't really care if it is never returned. I have actually surreptitiously retrieved (from a friend's book shelf) a book I loaned and apparently was never going to get back. I did not feel at all guilty about this action.


message 6: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 92 comments I have two bookish friends who are careful with my books and return them promptly. I do not lend to anyone else. I learned my lesson after having beloved volumes returned in tatters, or never returned at all. I agree with Simon. I would rather just buy a new copy for the person who wants to borrow.

I have many colleagues and friends who know that I read a great deal, but they have no idea of my taste in books. They are always trying to lend me books. I feel that I have made every excuse possible to avoid taking the book. Sometimes I will take the book, keep it a week or two and then return it unread.


message 7: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Schanne Atkins I have 2 friends with whom I share books. Other than that I do not lend books. I do not borrow books other than from these 2 women as they know my taste.I do keep a box to send my books onto the library. Into that box go books I will never read again. I keep certain authors but as I get older (I am 61) that number decreases.


message 8: by Louise (new)

Louise | 154 comments Melissa wrote: "I have many colleagues and friends who know that I read a great deal, but they have no idea of my taste in books. They are always trying to lend me books...."

Oh I know! not to be a book snob or anything, but I really don't want to read biographies about reality tv stars, and many other popular supermarket titles... Some of my colleagues decided to order and read the book about that girl who was held captive for many years (kamputsc or something) and they couldn't understand why I didn't want to join them (but you read?)


message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (thetirelessreader) | 3 comments Hi,

I'm new to The Readers and I'm really enjoying the podcasts.

Like many of you, I've been burned many times lending out my books. So now, I hardly lend out my books and if I do, I lend out books that I can afford to lose. I also choose the people I lend out to. They have to read fast so I know I can get my book back soon and they have to be folks I regularly see.

Sometimes I ask myself if I am being selfish with my strict lending habits? But I can't help but to have an emotional attachment to my books, therefore losing them is like losing a good friend. I can always replace the lost copy but somehow it just doesn't feel the same.


message 10: by April (new)

April | 11 comments Hello, I'm new to The Readers, but after listening to the last podcast I just had to share the dilemma I'm facing. I don't loan books and that is where the dilemma begins. We are just beginning the process of building our retirement home, and I want to have all of my books out on their shelves ready for me to read. My silly problem is that I don't want people coming to the house and seeing all of my books and then wanting to borrow one. I'm half tempted to keep them hidden, but I want my books out and shelved in my beautiful new home. Isn't that just the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard?


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

April, perhaps you could store your books in a room not likely to be seen by most visitors. What about keeping them in an upstairs room?


message 12: by Janis (new)

Janis | 8 comments Just came upon this quote and wanted to pass it on to Simon. "He who lends a book is an idiot. He who returns the book is more of an idiot" - Arabic Proverb
So Simon is not selfish at all, just wise about books.

Janis


message 13: by Annie (new)

Annie | 19 comments I may be the odd one out here. I lend books. Of course, I've had a book ruined--but the person who did the ruining bought me a new copy. I give the lendee some rules though:

1. I don't lend the jacket for hardcovers, just the book.
2. Definitely no writing in my books.
3. You can only dog-ear a page if I've dog-earred the book first. (Heresy, I know.)
4. You ruin it, you buy me a new one. You ruin more than one, and I stop lending to you.
5. Return my books in a reasonable amount of time.

Like I said, I only had a problem once and I got a fresh copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind.

I wonder, am I more liberal about lending books because I'm a librarian?


message 14: by Esther (last edited May 09, 2014 07:11AM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 135 comments I try to never lend a book unless I would be willing to give it away.
This normally says more about the person I am lending to, unless I disliked the book. I do try to write down who has borrowed what but my good friends always remember to return.
Recently we moved and I built an enormous bookcase in the entrance to the master bedroom. An unexpected bonus is that certain visitors can't now browse my shelves before dinner and then announce 'I'm borrowing these. OK?'
They always want to borrow my favourites and I can't write down what has gone with hands full of Roast Chicken. And they are always the type of person that if they do return the book it is battered beyond belief.
My sitting room now displays only religious books and those destined for bookmooch.com.


message 15: by April (last edited May 09, 2014 11:44AM) (new)

April | 11 comments Uncle wrote: "April, perhaps you could store your books in a room not likely to be seen by most visitors. What about keeping them in an upstairs room?"

This is definitely an option, Uncle. I'm just going to have to add more rooms up there to hold all the books!


message 16: by Stacey M (new)

Stacey M (poetryfreak38) | 1 comments I've gotten better at lending books. I have so many that loosing a couple isn't that big a deal. I don't lend book I really love and will want to read again. But if I have 2 copies I will lend it. As a teacher I think I have gotten better at lending books and allowing them to go off in the world and hopefully be read and loved. So a lot of the book I read also end up in my classroom library.


message 17: by Jumana A (new)

Jumana A | 5 comments Hello - just started to listen to your podcasts. Gosh you guys read a lot of books :). I have a bad habit of lending books then wanting them back immediately.
I have one friend who has a total disregard of borrowed books. I lent her The Night Circus and she got it waterlogged when she was reading it by the pool. She asked if I wanted a new one, of course I said yes! I have recently lent her Devil in the White City and she constantly turns it flat upside down when not reading it. It drives me nuts!!
Next time I tell her about a book, I'll just say it was on Audio or from the library!
Thanks - I hope I don't sound too horrible.


message 18: by Maria (new)

Maria Elmvang (kiwiria) I'll happily lend books to people I trust. I'll semi-happily lend replaceable books to people I see often. Fortunately I've only once experienced not getting a book back after lending it to somebody.

I'm amazed by how easily you talk about buying new copies of books though. Books are expensive as in Denmark, so it's really not much of an option. A new hardcover can easily cost as much as £30+ or US$60 - a new paperback around £20/US$40. Fortunately books DO go on sale, but it's the rare book that costs less than £10 / US$20 from new.


message 19: by Louise (new)

Louise | 154 comments Maria - Genbrugsbutikker/thrift shops and library sales!
I use those a lot - also I get English books cheap through Amazon's second hand booksellers.


message 20: by April (new)

April | 11 comments Simon or Thomas, I'm wondering if it would be possible for you to include a list on The Readers website of all the books/podcasts/websites you mention in your podcast. It's impossible for me to remember all of your great recommendations since I listen as I'm driving to work.


message 21: by Rosanna (prosesroses) (last edited May 13, 2014 11:22PM) (new)

Rosanna (prosesroses) (prosesroses) I've only lent books to people who are readers themselves and so they handle them carefully. Casual readers who are not family, NOPE.

My sister is really good about it. My brother and cousin J, the worst they do is the book collecting dust, unread for months in which than I'll just take it back (I feel this is only acceptable when it's family and they themselves are not huge readers). My most horrifying lending moment was in my pre-teen days, I let younger cousin K borrow a book and visited her a few weeks later and found the cover of my book folded diagonally across the front cover! I took it back that very day and crossed her off (my lending anything) forever.

My friends don't read, save for one and she reads quite quickly so I can count on her to return in a timely manner.


message 22: by Jason (new)

Jason | 29 comments If you need a kidney, or a bone marrow transplant, I'd certainly consider it but don't ask to borrow one of my books


message 23: by Esther (new)

Esther (eshchory) | 135 comments Maria M. wrote: "I'm amazed by how easily you talk about buying new copies of books though. Books are expensive as in Denmark, so it's really not much of an option...."
I totally understand this. At one time I could hardly afford to buy books for myself. Now I'm in full-time work at a good job the situation is different. I did have two copies of The Kite Runner and I bought a second copy of The Hunger Games trilogy when a friend borrowed the books for nearly a year so her daughter could complete a school project. (and yes that did annoy me but this friend has lent me several books).
Mostly I have totally different tastes from my friends so they don't want to borrow the books I love. My problem is the 200+ unread books on my shelves.


message 24: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 68 comments I have a weird thing about most books where I keep a "to be read" shelf, and then almost immediately after I finish a book I will give it away to a friend. Occasionally I will keep (or hoard) a book that I really enjoyed, mostly so I can pick it up again later and look up the quotes I liked. I'm not particular about the copy (unless I have choices). The last book I did this with was "A Separate Peace". I should have read it in High School, but glad I waited!


message 25: by Kate (new)

Kate Gardner (nose_in_a_book) | 40 comments I'm not too bothered about the physical condition of most of my books, so it's fine by me if a borrowed book returns with a cracked spine or a tea stain. But I do get bothered when a friend has held on to one of my books for a long time. I know I've been known to take three or four months to read a friend's book, but some of mine have been on loan for years. I have a little book I keep track of them in, so I won't forget but I suspect some of the borrowers have!


message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Nose in a book wrote: "I'm not too bothered about the physical condition of most of my books, so it's fine by me if a borrowed book returns with a cracked spine or a tea stain. But I do get bothered when a friend has hel..."

What do you do if a friend seems to have forgotten about a borrowed book? Do you give the friend a gentle reminder? Or do you resign yourself to not getting the book back?


message 27: by Kate (new)

Kate Gardner (nose_in_a_book) | 40 comments Richard wrote: "What do you do if a friend seems to have forgotten..."

I give the occasional gentle reminder, but I'd hate to sound nagging, so they are very occasional!


message 28: by Richard (new)

Richard | 47 comments Nose in a book wrote: "Richard wrote: "What do you do if a friend seems to have forgotten..."

I give the occasional gentle reminder, but I'd hate to sound nagging, so they are very occasional!"


Yes, I think that is what I would do, too.


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