Pet Peeves: Borrowing and Lending Books

When I sat down to create questions for the Real Neat Blog Award  post, I racked my brain for things that all of us readers can relate to. And one of them was on pet peeves, which I feel is a very real issue for most of us. And as I thought hard about it, I realized that there are a few that I have and can share with you.

So my first one is about all the annoying bits about borrowing and lending books. For those of us who read books, the concept of borrowing and lending is anything but alien. It’s all too familiar. And scary. And wrought with stress. Funnily enough, I feel that buying a book is less stressful than borrowing one. Well, as for lending, I really don’t have a say do I!

First, let me tell you why I am wary about lending a book. When I lend, I worry that the person who borrowed it won’t treat my book well. One of my fears is seeing a book with a broken (or almost broken) spine. Oh it breaks my heart. One too many times, I have come across book lovers who keep their open books, face down so often, that it breaks the spine.

It’s sad when this happens to a new book that has yet to spend time on bookshelves, to be loved, admired and cherished. I’m scared that I might be lending my book to a person with this habit. And that terrifies me.

Surprisingly, the occasional stained finger spot or a scratch on one of the pages is quite alright with me. I think it kind of adds a bit of character to the book. It’s kind of an impression that the person who borrowed it left behind on the book – a small mark that it will carry with it as it ages. That does not mean I’m alright with the book being treated like a tissue paper or a doodle book. No. Never.

Another thing that keeps me up at night is that the book will come back with dog ears or a bent cover. The thought is just horrifying. And last but not the least is the probability of the book never being returned. And worse still, me losing track of who I lent it to.

That is also my biggest concern when I borrow a book from friends or acquaintances. Also, preserving their book is another cause for worry, especially if it is a limited edition book. I carry books with me when I travel to and from work, and there are numerous things that can go wrong when a book is in my bag.

What if the book’s cover gets bent when I place something along with it and I forget to check. What if my lunch box opens a wee bit and some food leaks on it. What if it’s raining and my bag is not closed properly and it gets wet. What if I lose it. The “What ifs” are just too many.


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