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To not want to lend anybody my books?

(120 Posts)
MorrisZapp Fri 16-Oct-09 16:01:19

I'm totally open to polite chiding on this.

I have 3 large bookcases full of my lovely, treasured, lifetime book collection. I also have an ever-growing, ever-changing charity pile of books that I always invite visitors to take what they want from.

But so many people seem to think that other people's book collections are basically libraries, including asking for advice -'what have you got that I'd like' etc etc.

I admit I am a total arse about books. They aren't just literature to me, they are objects of beauty and pride. I keep them scrupulously (sp) clean and totally free of crumbs, dog ears and (AAAARGH) broken spines - how can anybody break a book's spine?

Anyhoo the main reason I don't like lending them out is that people generally don't give them back - this has been my lifelong experience. I know people aren't 'stealing' them, they just forget don't they.

But I don't want to give my books away. I don't want to have to ask for them back, and I don't want them to be dog eared and fat through misuse.

I know I'm being uptight and arsey, but AIBU?

Firawla Fri 16-Oct-09 16:03:58

no yanbu
its so common that ppl dont give back, but really rude!!
they should take the recommendation but get their own copy. have they not heard of join a library? maybe you can suggest them that wink

flowerybeanbag Fri 16-Oct-09 16:04:17

I think dog-eared books with knackered spines are great, they look well-read and well-loved. Loads of mine are like that and it doesn't bother me a tall.

But not getting books back would annoy me. I'd just nag though.

pjmama Fri 16-Oct-09 16:04:46

Nope! I'm anal about my special book collection too. I've even got some special editions wrapped in cling film to keep them nice. Doesn't matter whether it's books or anything else, if you treasure something you're not obliged to lend it to anyone.

And you're right, you invariably don't get them back!

MorrisZapp Fri 16-Oct-09 16:07:01

Clingfilm! I love it!

<dashes off to pound shop>

flowerybeanbag Fri 16-Oct-09 16:08:14

rofl at cling film grin

PersonalClown Fri 16-Oct-09 16:08:46

I'm a great book lover too.
My own collection is at around 200 and growing every month!!
I personally like my books to look loved and well read BUT I can't stand lending my books to anyone because I've lost count at how many I've had to replace because when I ask for my book back weeks/months later, I'm always met with 'Was it yours? I didn't remember so gave it to someone else!'

Now it's become 'You want to read it? Buy your own copy!!'

Morloth Fri 16-Oct-09 16:08:57

YANBU, I have a very short list of people I will loan books to.

TheFoosa Fri 16-Oct-09 16:09:22

yab a little bit u but I always know who has what, so ALWAYS get my books back

rowrowrowyourboat Fri 16-Oct-09 16:10:52

No not in the slightest. I once made someone buy a replacement for a book that was lend in perfect condition and then returned battered, dog-eared and with the spine broken. Some people just don't either care or understand about books so the best thing to do is avoid lending your good books, unless it's someone you totally trust.

MorrisZapp Fri 16-Oct-09 16:14:42

Aye good points. I would always lend to my sister, as she is skint, very careful and appreciative, and I have no qualms saying to her 'oi, you finished with that book yet?'

But to the wider world it's a big fat nay. Especially when it's people whose houses I am unlikely to be visiting, as that would be the time to ask for them back.

sockmonkey Fri 16-Oct-09 16:16:00

:: shudders at books with broken spines ::

YANBU. DH lent a signed book to a friend, asked her to be careful with it. Unfortunately she dropped it in a puddle and mashed the cover. DH had to pretend it was ok, but he was really quite upset.
I hate lending books and not getting them back.

RockinSockBunnies Fri 16-Oct-09 16:18:31

YANBU. I wish I'd kept a list of books that I've lent to various people - no idea how many have gone out, never to return sad.

But, I'm slightly guilty of coming across books that I've borrowed (literally ten years ago in some cases) that I haven't returned blush.

Hullygully Fri 16-Oct-09 16:24:51

What about when you reluctantly lend one to a v good friend, who then LENDS IT TO ANOTHER FREIEND, because it was so good and they knew you wouldn't mind...

CMOTdibbler Fri 16-Oct-09 16:25:27

I hate it when I have to ask people to return books - DH and I have a lot of books, and guests are always welcome to peruse the shelves and read them (I'm only precious about my expensive books). But to go to read a book and find it's not there is really irritating, and I think, it's bad manners to not return the book ASAP.

MorrisZapp Fri 16-Oct-09 16:29:26

Thanks guys, sounds like I'm in good company on the book issue.

moulesfrites Fri 16-Oct-09 16:29:31

I really really really don't understand when people get upset about broken spines. I love books and have a houseful of them but surely the value of books lies not in them as physical objects but in the words and ideas that they contain? To me a broken spine shows that the book has been read and enjoyed many times.

Paolosgirl Fri 16-Oct-09 16:31:30

It depends. If they are good friends, and I know I would get them back, then I would lend them.

I love my books, but I love to think of them being loved and read and travelling the wider world with other people - just as long as I do get them back at some point! If it was a particularly special book then obviously I wouldn't lend it to anyone.

somewhathorrified Fri 16-Oct-09 16:36:30

Don't do it! the number of times I've lent out books to trusted friends, had to ask for them back only to be told that they already have! (Trust me when I say they didn't) My point is people don't mean to steel them, they just get 'borrowed' by other people from their houses, or get kicked under the bed. Result is always the same...have to replace the same books over and over.

Hullygully Fri 16-Oct-09 16:43:10

What five books would you NEVER lend?

callaird Fri 16-Oct-09 16:47:03

OH GOD! You are so not unreasonable!!!

I never lend books, I have one very good friend who I would trust with my life and she is allowed to read my books - as long as she is staying with me and reads the book in the house!! She may be allowed to take it to the beach/park/on the bus/train but only if I am going with her! And I know full well that she would do the same.

When I was young and naive, I lent a few books but never got them back, it was always, Oh it was a great book, I lent it to xxx and then xxx would say I lent it to yyy etc! Never ever again.

I have 4 bookshelves full of books, piled high, I have no room for any others, so they are in my mum's loft, the amount of times she says go through them and throw them away/give them to charity! Um?....Not gonna happen!!

SomeGuy Fri 16-Oct-09 16:57:37

I never get books back. Don't lend them. Just say 'hmm yes, that's a good book, I believe amazon have it quite cheap'

busybutterfly Fri 16-Oct-09 17:24:01

My MIL lent her friend some books. smile

She asked for them back some weeks later and her friend said "Oh, I've taken them to the charity shop, as you'd read them I didn't think you wanted them back!" shock

I'd have been blooming furious...

TrillianSlasher Fri 16-Oct-09 17:26:34

"Sorry, I'm incredibly anal about my books, you don't want to borrow one or you'll spend the whole time worrying about crumbs and spots and beinging pages... No, really, I'll get irrationally angry if you so much as breathe on them... Really really, in fact I think you should step away right now"


TheDevilEatsBabies Fri 16-Oct-09 17:28:15

never ever ever ever ever lend anyone any books ever.

you won't get them back and you'll be annoyed about it forever.

even if they promise that they always return them, they never do.

vis a vis: roald dahl's revolting recipes, spike milligan's john thomas and lady jane.
and i borrowed jane eyre from someone and never returned it, so i'm guilty too.

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