I Think I’ve Made A Terrible Mistake

I’ve always loved lending out books. As a kid, I practically begged my sister to borrow books from me. I love being excited about a book and getting others excited. I’ve converted some of my friends into readers and it’s delightful. Even when I’ve had to mourn some lost books, I’ve still joyously lent them out to friends in need of a new book for their vacation or just life in general. I don’t even get too worried about wear and tear to my books because you know how I am. In fact, I’m more scared to borrow books from other people than I am to lend them out. (I think I’m a weirdo in that regard maybe?).

But in my book zeal, I’ve realized I may have been a little too hasty with my lending.

 

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I’ve lost track of what I lent out and I’ve lent out things that perhaps I shouldn’t because it kind of gives me heart palpitations to think of ever losing.

 

3 situations I’ve found myself in lately:

1. Forgetting what I lent out: My little sister came to visit and said she wanted some new books to read. I was practically bouncing up and down that she wanted some books. So I loaded her up with 10 or so books and I can’t even remember which ones. The only one I do remember that I lent her FOR SURE is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour which you know I super love. She said my cousin (who is also her age) wanted to borrow some too and I was just so excited to connect with them over books that I was out of control. I’m honestly terrified I’m never going to see these books again and I can’t even REMEMBER which books they are. I need to make people sign them out like I did when I was little APPARENTLY. Also, my sister is not ummm very responsible in keeping track of THINGS? About a week after I lent them out I had a moment of sheer panic for my books after my “OMG PEOPLE I LOVE WANT TO READ” high wore off.

2. Lending out favorites. SIGNED FAVORITES: My friend borrowed a bunch of books from me (and recently returned them…AH THE RELIEF)  and I was SO excited because I have gotten her into YA. She would read a little bit here and there but never YA. And now she’s hooked. SO OBVIOUSLY I hooked her up with my favorites from Gayle Forman (among others). BUT THESE WERE MY SIGNED BOOKS. And I trusted her no doubt. But I realized I maybe need some “borrowing copies” for my favorite books so I don’t have to part with my signed. WHAT IF SHE LOST THEM? Especially my Gayle’s. Can’t replace these personalized copies.

3. Lending out books to people who then lend them out to someone else: So my friend who borrowed my Gayle books? Well, she lent them to her sister-in-law and then her mom. NOW, she asked. She did. But I felt so awkward saying no and plus I WANT EVERYONE TO READ THE GAYLE BOOKS….so I said yes. I HAD NEVER HAD THIS HAPPEN BEFORE. I was ill-prepared and it scared me for my books to get even further away.

 

And now I’ve found myself with a bout of book lending anxiety. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, friends. I’ve never really ever felt TOO nervous about lending and I’ve done it freely and joyously but now I kind of just want to be like THEY ARE MIIIIIINE. NO.

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But I really just like getting friends hooked on books I’ve loved. I’ve had a lot of personal success with lending my books and letting friends discover new favorites (my one friend who lives in my complex has been a READING MACHINE and has discovered all sorts of new authors to love from borrowing my books).  I know a lot of other people don’t like feeling like their friend’s personal library…but I’ve never minded it.

So now I’m all like: to lend or not to lend? Do I need to maybe have boundaries with certain books? Actually write down what people borrow? Stop lending so freeeely? I DO NOT KNOW.

 

What about you guys? Do you lend books out to people? Have any lending horror stories? How do you choose what books you are fine with lending?

In Memory Of Lost Books

I love lending books out. I do. I want to share all my books all the time and am always letting friends borrow them. When I was little, I would make “sign-out” sheets/library card like things to put in my books for those who borrowed them. “Those who borrowed them” refers to my sister…because I made her borrow them so that I could play library. Moving ON.

I have ONE tiny fear now when I lend books because it has happened quite a few times. For some, it might be that they are afraid that the person borrowing the book won’t treat it with the love and care that it deserves. I do not have that fear because I do things that make you cringe. BUT, I don’t treat OTHER people’s books like that. My problem: the fear of never getting them back. EVER.

Full confession before I move on: I have borrowed (am still borrowing — sorry Estelle!) a book on occasion for an embarrassing amount of time before reading. I’m a mood reader so I have to be IN the mood for a particular book and so sometimes it’s been months before I get around to reading it. BUT I WOULD NEVER KEEP A BOOK. (Except this one accidental time where I borrowed a book from a blogger friend and then I moved and it was still at my stepdad’s and then I sucked at going to the post office so I’m pretty sure she thought she was never getting it back. Sorry Mel!)

I’m not talking about people who might take a book for an extended amount of time. NOPE. I’m talking about books where it has been YEARS that I know I’m never going to get back. EVER. It’s even worse because I don’t KEEP books that weren’t favorites so I mourn it even harder.

I feel the need to pay tribute to these books and mourn them properly. If you have lost books, please feel free to mourn with me in the comments.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 

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Here lies my copy of The Book Thief. It contained many, many shed tears on its pages when I read it many years ago. We had a good run, this book and I, but it came to its demise when I lent it to a friend who later lent it to another friend. That was in 2007. I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU AND HOW YOU MADE ME GO THROUGH A WHOLE ROLL OF BOX OF TISSUES AND MADE ME CRY SO HARD THAT I HAD LOTS OF SNOT BUBBLES.

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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Here lies my copy of The Hunger Games. My friend was trying to get her husband to read it before the movie came out and I excitedly lent him my copy and that was the last day I saw it. I’m not sure he ever ended up reading the series. May you rest in peace and I will never forget the page-turning night I spent reading you. Luckily I found a a paperback version of you when Borders was going out of business. It’s not the same because you are irreplaceable.

Paper Towns & Looking For Alaska by John Green

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Here lies my copies of Paper Towns & Looking For Alaska. Double sob. You were the start of a beautiful friendship when a co-worker at work discovered I liked to read. She praised Perks of Being A  Wallflower, one of my favorites, and then I immediately brought her these two books to read knowing she would love them. Before she was able to return them, she got laid off from the company and I never saw her again…or these books. Rest in peace, favorite books. I replaced you so I could get you signed in what was The Best Day Ever.

Prodigy by Marie Lu

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Here lies my copy of Prodigy. I never got to turn your beautiful pages for, you see, I lent you to my teenage nephews whom I got into the series and they COULD NOT WAIT to get their hands on you. But they did what teenage boys do and they lost it in their abyss of their room, their lockers or their backpacks and I for one am NOT brave enough to try and find it. Rest in peace, Prodigy, for I borrowed you from the library so I could see what you held inside.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

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Here lies my copy of The Sky Is Everywhere — one of the most beautiful books ever. I lent you to my youngest sister and you are nowhere to be found when I asked her about it. I think your fate was at the hand of one of her friends. Hopefully you were loved and enjoyed.

Refreshments, in the form of cupcakes and beer, will be served at my house for all those who came to mourn with me today.

Do you loan out your books or no? Do you have any books you’d like to mourn today? LET IT OUT!!

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