Neither a borrower nor a lender be?

December 10, 2010

Categories: book lending, friends and books, lending your books, Narnia

Before I begin this rant, a pause is in order to look at this gorgeous bookshelf which looks like something you might come across in a Narnian Forest.


Do you lend your personal books out to friends?
Do you despair when the books are never returned?
Do you forget who you’ve lent them out to?
Do you have a no-lend policy?

When I was a child, under 10, I used to play libraries.
I know, pathetic really.
I labelled my books with the letter of the author on the spine. I made little pockets for little cards that could be stamped with the date of the library book loan (just like the books from the Sunshine Library).
The only difference between a real library and me was that I never actually let my books be loaned out. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t trust the kids I was playing with (i don’t know how I roped them into that game) but that i had so few books I was scared of losing them. Which may account for why, as an adult, I have a couple of bookcases double-loaded with books. As for loaning out my books — I do, but it depends on:
a) who the person is
b) what the book is
c) if I can ever replace that book again.
Some of the best books I’ve read have been books I have borrowed from friends, so it seems only fair to reciprocate.
I now have a shelf dedicated to books that belong to other people, so it’s easy when someone comes over and I can say, ‘Did I borrow any of these from you?’

To loan or not to loan… that is the question.

5 Responses to “Neither a borrower nor a lender be?”

  1. Sian says:

    How can I have known you for a million years and not known you played libraries? I PLAYED LIBRIARIES TOO!! My books were numbered, but complete with pockets at the back and I forced my sisters to borrow them so I could do the (pretend) stamping! I used to be an indiscriminate lender of books, but after losing my favorite, out of print, book twice to forgotten borrowers,I am much more discerning in my lending. And, I might add, more conscientious in returning.

  2. Sian says:

    PS Have I forgotten to return something to you?!!

  3. karen tayleur says:

    How could I have guessed that your books were numbered!! Don't think you've forgotten to return anything. Though I have your sister's Return to Wuthering Heights still waiting to be returned, so it can be the return of The Return of Wuthering Heights…

  4. Katrina Germein says:

    I played libraries as a kid too…

  5. karen tayleur says:

    Katrina, thanks for letting me know, cause now I don't feel so freaky.

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