To Lend or Not to Lend?

I’m a librarian, so I’m seeing people borrow books all the time, and as a book lover in general, I like to recommend books and see people read books that I’ve read and loved. Or even ones that I hated, just to see how someone else likes it. In the past I’ve had no problems lending out my books to family, friends, or co-workers, but as of this year… I’m being a bit more selective about who I lend to.

One book that I lent out to pretty much all of my co-workers is my copy of I Work At a Public Library by Gina Sheridan. I highly recommend this one. It’s a book of encounters the author had working as a librarian at one point in her life, and if you work or have worked in a library, you’ll find it extra funny because of how relatable these situations are. In any case, I lent this book out over the past few years to my coworkers because I knew they’d love it – and they did. However, the last time I got it back after a round of lending it out, it came back with water/coffee stains and crayons drawn over it.

Now, I totally understand that some of my coworkers have kids and kids do what kids do, but at the same time I kind of expected a little more from them (not the kids). I mean, they’re librarians too and they know that it was my personal copy of this book… if I had kids they wouldn’t be allowed near a friend or coworker’s copy of a book that I was borrowing. I’d lock the thing up when I wasn’t reading it. However, when I saw the book in that condition I was a little disappointed, but I let it go. It’s a book… it’s material and replaceable. There’s no need to get upset about it.

Another issue I’ve come across in lending out books is that I have lent out books in the past and have never gotten them back. I realized this a few years ago when I went to reread my Private novels by Kate Brian, and noticed I was missing two of the books. I was able to replace them easily, but I remembered lending them out to a friend back in high school and since I moved around a lot, I never realized I didn’t get them back. There was also another book I lent out that I didn’t get back because my friend told me their husband spilled coffee on it, but she did offer to replace it.

This brings me to now, where I’ve decided I’m going to be a bit picky in who I lend books out to. Not because my books are my prized possessions or anything (as I said, books are replaceable), but because they do cost money and if it’s a book I really enjoyed and will read again, I don’t want to keep re-buying the book and wasting my money. I know a few of my people who would be very careful if I lent them a book, so they get the privileges of borrowing from me. Other people… we’ll see.

For the most part though, it’s not like I lend out books on a regular basis, but given my past experience in lending them out, yeah… I’m going to most likely be picky about whether I do or not.

Okay, I’m throwing the question out to you, my friends!

Do you lend out your books? If so, have you had any bad experiences doing so? If not, why don’t you?

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7 thoughts on “To Lend or Not to Lend?

  1. Emma @ Turn Another Page says:

    I don’t loan my books out because I don’t trust I’ll get a book returned to me in the same condition or actually have it returned at all. When I was at school I loaned my entire Twilight books to a friend of mine and despite her saying on various occasions ‘I’ll give them back to you,’ I never did get them back. It stung at the time, and it still sticks in my mind today, because they were books I loved and re-read all the time. I did get them replaced but it has made me very reluctant to ever loan out my books again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 24hr.YABookBlog says:

    I’ve been thinking about this so much, a lot of my friends aren’t readers but a trick to that is if there’s one I *really want to share with friends bc I’d love for them to check it out, I buy a duplicate for lending – seems kind of excessive but it works 😂😅

    Liked by 1 person

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