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How do I stop people lending me books?!!

(14 Posts)
franch Wed 30-Jul-08 20:42:10

I get very little chance to read these days, and so am even more fussy than I used to be about my choice of reading. A huge part of the joy for me is going to a bookshop and choosing precisely what I'm in the mood to read next. But people keep thrusting books on me that they've enjoyed, and because I get through books so slowly now, these unsolicited borrowings are piling up in a way that makes my heart sink.

I feel I have to read the things before returning them, and so I feel like I'm never going to be able to read anything of my own choice again! One friend in particular has dramatically different taste in reading to mine - 'misery lit' mainly - and has just lent me yet another book, saying 'I was given three of these for my birthday - as soon as I've finished the next one I'll pass it on to you.' I already have 2 of her books sitting reproachfully by my bed. I wanted to scream ...

I have reasonably eclectic taste in reading by the way, and love extending my comfort zone (see this thread), but I do want to make my own choices about my precious reading time - without offending friends and family ...

Shitehawk Wed 30-Jul-08 20:45:26

"That's kind of you, but I've already read it".

"I read one of his/her books once, I didn't think much of it so perhaps I'll pass on that".

"I don't fancy that one, but thanks anyway".

"I have several books waiting to read at the moment; maybe another time".

"No, thank you".

cthea Wed 30-Jul-08 20:45:33

I see what you're saying but one of the great joys of reading is sharing the book with someone afterwards. Perhaps you should just say that you're behind with reading and can't accept another just now, you will asap.

psychomum5 Wed 30-Jul-08 20:45:43

just hand them all back after giving them a quick scan and say "thanks for the book, twas fab, but I got sooooooooooo many to get thro can you leave it a while before you lend me more", and leave it at that.

I keep having a neighbour however who posts mislit thro my letterbox for me to read. what she thinks of me is kind'a scary I have to sayhmm.

tis kind of them to pass on their books, altho I do understand how you feel as I too have a pile to still get thro......

still, tis the summer hols and I am getting thro them more now.

fryalot Wed 30-Jul-08 20:48:50

how about "ooh, that looks interesting but I've got a big stack of library books to get through first - can you remind be about it in a month or so?"

or "I would love to borrow that off you but the children are going through a drawing on books stage so I would rather not just at the moment" (obviously, if your children are well into their teens, you may want to rethink this particular excuse wink)

or the good old "I can't actually read"

franch Wed 30-Jul-08 20:50:47

I'm definitely going for your final suggestion Squonk - genius - thanks

fryalot Wed 30-Jul-08 20:52:37


cthea Wed 30-Jul-08 20:59:09

Hey, Franch, I saw on your other thread, you're in Clapham. I'm in Wimbledon. Fancy a meet-up? I have some fanatsic books I'd like to pass on (The memory keeper's daughter, Angela's Ashes, some Jodi Picoult ones etc)

AnyFuleKno Wed 30-Jul-08 21:01:27

Let them see you licking your fingers before turning the pages

franch Wed 30-Jul-08 21:18:02

Ooh yes cthea let's hook up!

grin AnyFule

cthea Wed 30-Jul-08 21:45:58

OK, I'm off on holiday but I'll get in touch when I return. I'll collect some other lovely books meanwhile. So glad to have found someone else to pass them on to. You do realise I'm joking, right?

Scarletibis Thu 31-Jul-08 11:46:26

You need to tell them you're really up to your eyes in books and have NO time to read them.

OR tell them the misery lit depresses you.

Failing that take them and PRETEND to have read them.

LuLuBai Thu 31-Jul-08 12:12:53

I totally sympathise. There is nothing worse than books that don't appeal to you piling up by your bed. Especially when reading time is so precious. As for the whole miserylit genre - what is that all about!?!?

I love selecting new books too. Such a joy. I tried to spend some time browsing in a bookshop the other day but just ended up having to buy some kids books that my DD had chewed like a demented puppy.

I think the best course of action is honesty "It's very kind of you to offer to lend me these books but I have so little time to read that I have a backlog of unread books already".

Had a brief look at your other thread. If you are still looking for inspiration for books Armistead Maupin and Alexander McCall Smith both write in a style that is easy to dip in and out of (e.g. if your reading time is constantly interrupted). Or on the contemporary fiction front I really like Helen Dunmore's style of writing (although some plots can be a little bit err miserable).

franch Fri 01-Aug-08 20:01:00

Yes don't worry cthea - and you were spot on about the sort of stuff I was talking about ...

I'm going to pretend to have read what I've been given so far, scarlet - and then take more preventive action in future!!

And thanks lulu - you know what I'm on about.

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