Discussion Post – Sharing books, yay or nay?

How comfortable are you lending books to friends and family?

A few years ago I wouldn’t even entertain the notion of sharing my books, but recently I have been more inclined to give books away, especially as I am running out room for books in my house. It sometimes feels that the floors might buckle under the weight of them. 😂😂

Over the years, I think I have definitely become a book hoarder, and it was once very rare that I let a friend borrow one of my books. But I had a very good reason for this after a very unfortunate incident which took place when I decided, in my naivety, to lend a book to a friend, who shall remain nameless.

Going back ten, twelve years ago, I was shocked to discover that my friend had never read the Harry Potter books. This was while the movies were still being made. We made a pact that if she read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, then I would read the first Twilight book which she’d loved and at the time wasn’t my cup of tea.  We agreed and swapped books.

Several weeks later I asked if she had made any progress with the book as being the bookworm I was, I’d already read Twilight by that point. She assured me she had, but it wasn’t until two to three months later that she finally said she’d finished it. When I was next at her house, she went to retrieve the book for me. The book had been battered and bruised, and the pages were torn. 😭😭😭

To say I was devastated was a big understatement. We are still good friends though.

It has taken me a long time to feel comfortable with lending books out again after this. I’m one of those people who, although I love reading books and re-reading them, I like to keep them in a pristine condition, as much as possible. I don’t know if you’re like this as well.

So how comfortable are you with allowing a friend or a family member to borrow a book? Like me, did you once find this idea absurd? Are you still reluctant to lend books out? Do you have a horror story similar to the above you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.

39 thoughts on “Discussion Post – Sharing books, yay or nay?

  1. I have lent books to people who showed an interest then to discover that 4 years later they have forgotten that they were on loan and not even read them. Not that I am counting but I have 5 that are being borrowed! I now only give books away that I won’t read again.

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  2. That’s a nightmare came to reality scenario! I don’t share my books and I’m not thinking in doing so for another decade. Maybe because I’m a fledgling reader (not born reader, it’s been just 5 years I’m reading), I don’t have many books to lend, and those I have, I love them. I can’t see my hard earned money being battered.

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  3. When I was younger I had a hard time sharing my books. At one time I had almost five thousand in my home. Now, as I’m older and have had to downsize, I’m less attached to the physical book. (Though I still have almost a thousand that I can’t part with LOL)
    As I’m only reading Ebooks now, the point is nearly moot.

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  4. I do lend out out books *reluctantly* (read if they ask flat out and as usual I don’t dare say no) and I didn’t receive any with major damages in return so far (but my friend reads it and presses both sides down on a table or something to keep it open, that’s already enough to make me flinch). I don’t mind giving away/swapping books though unless they’re 4.5 or 5 star reads.

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  5. Sadly, I really fell out with a friend about thirty years ago after I’d lent her 3 of my Patricia Cornwell books. I waited probably four-five months and broached the subject because she hadn’t mentioned them since the loan. Anyway, long story short, she’d LOST all three. LOST?!! I just can’t get my head round that at all! If I borrow anything, I’m so careful and respectful of things that aren’t my property. Suffice to say, we had a right row about it and we’ve not spoken since. Shame 🙁 Really enjoyed your post! Thanks for sharing 😊

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  6. I lend once, if it comes back battered then never again. If it doesn’t come back – well I can’t bear even thinking about that. I hope that by lending, the friend will buy more by that author – I do worry that I may be giving away their income! I do ask people to leave a review of books I lend out.

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  7. 🙂 I am quite comfortable with lending out my books. Now, it would only make sense to lend your books to people who will take good care of them and return them when they are finished reading them.

    Do enjoy the rest of your day, Jacob.

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  8. There’s only one couple I loan books to – and that’s my in-laws. We have a swap session every time I see them (3-4 times a year)! I don’t actually know anyone else in the physical world that are interested in books 😦

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  9. Happy to give away books once I’ve read them as I don’t re-read, but I won’t lend anymore. Too many books I never got back, or ones that came back so mangled I had to buy new copies. Some people (who you think would be better) have no respect for books.

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  10. I found out the hard way several times that people I lent books to were just not the same way with books as I am, to my utter regret. I can only think of one person in the last couple of decades who returned them, and in the same condition (a college professor). I was even crazy enough to lend a book I’d just gotten once, and hadn’t even read! I ended up moving to another state, 15 years have gone by, and the friend and I drifted apart. I sure hope she enjoyed the “gift” it turned out to be. So no, no more lending unless it’s something I could care less if I never see again.

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  11. Found your blog from your comment on my He Started It review, made me come to read your thoughts and I cuoldn’t agree more with what a brilliant thriller it was! Well, minus the abruptness of the ending maybe 😀 Thanks for checking out my review, and followed!

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