Bookish Pet-Peeves: Why I no longer lend out my books.

The other day, I decided to re-read the Mortal Instruments series since it’s last installment City of Heavenly Fire was recently released. It’s been so long since I read some of these books that I really don’t remember anything about them at all. I know that I had a blast reading them the first time, so I figured a summer re-read would be fun.

So I went to my bookshelf and looked, and looked…

buellerI even searched behind other books since it wasn’t with the rest of the series on my shelf ( and I always keep series together on my shelf). Only to find that it wasn’t there at all.

And then I remembered that I lent it out to a friend about 2 years ago… and it was never returned to me.

Which is a huge pet-peeve of mine. I always make it a point to return books that I borrow.

This has happened to me so many times in the past, where I lend out books (sometimes more than one— sometimes many more than one) to a friend, only to have them not returned. Sometimes when I politely inquire or remind people that they have borrowed them, i find out that they have been lost or are damaged. Some of these people I’m not even friends with anymore. So getting back the books I lent out may neverĀ  happen.

The problem is this… I love sharing my love of books with people. But it sucks when my private library is missing more than 20 titles due to people not returning what they borrow. So yes, I have become rather stingy when it comes to letting people borrow my precious books. I am no longer the library of Amanda (even though I miss it). I’ve started to only let family members borrow books, or friends who I see all the time.

Do you let people borrow your books? Have you run into the same problem?

What do you do when this happens?

14 thoughts on “Bookish Pet-Peeves: Why I no longer lend out my books.

  1. alexinbookland says:

    I only lend books out to my sister and my best friend. I don’t really tell people about my love of books nor what books I own, I just tend to recommend not lend (out). I really don’t trust people, especially seen as I don’t even let myself break the spines of my books and most people do that without a thought!

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      I have a couple of books where I have accidentally broken the spine, or I bought them at a yard sale, or even that have been read so much that they have fallen apart– but I hate getting books back that are in crappy shape, when I know they were in perfect shape to begin with. My favorite thing is to find coffee/food stains on the pages, don’t even get me started about that!!!

  2. kaineandrews says:

    I am “lucky” in a bizarre way on this subject; I’m surrounded by folks of the tribe who believe that “reading is dumb.” Admittedly, perhaps not the best company… but it does save on stress with this situation. Of course, somewhere out there is my autographed copy of The Great and Secret Show that a certain young lady took with her alongside a largish chunk of my heart, which may account for why I don’t have many close friends who are readers anymore… hmm. XD

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      My ex kept quite a few of my favorite books when we broke up— which I think he did just to make me mad. Anyway, I know a lot of people who aren’t readers, but a few of my friends constantly ask if they can borrow my books. I feel like a jerk to say no, but they can read them all they want if the books stay at my house!

  3. morrighansmuse says:

    I lent someone a book, Angela’s Ashes, that was personally autographed to me by Frank McCourt when I was lucky enough to attend a small writers conference. Never got it back, and now I just don’t lend them out anymore. If they own a kindle of a nook, I’ll gift them the digital version, but the hard copy remains with me.

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      I would have been so upset if I never got that back! Angela’s Ashes is such a wonderful book, and to have a signed copy borrowed and not returned is a slap in the face! I don’t blame you for not lending out your books anymore.

  4. mmackinn says:

    I have got to the point where I don’t even lend out to family, I never know when I am going to get them back and I have lost some favourites that way that now I have to replace. If I do lend one out now I usually make sure it’s not a favourite and that they know the rules of handling it so I get it back in one piece.

    • amandasnoseinabook says:

      Yeah I have to be careful now that I don’t lend out books that I will want back, because they never seem to find their way back to me. It’s funny though because I used to lend out stacks of books at a time to a couple of people who always brought them back, now they don’t anymore.

  5. Sam says:

    I now keep a running list of who borrowed what. I realized a few weeks ago that one of my favorite non-fiction titles is missing and I’m so mad! I looked everywhere for it, inquired with those I usually lend to, and nothing! I’ve decided now that I’m only lending out books I don’t love because losing this is too heartbreaking. Well, unless we’re super close. I just lent my critique partner my copy of Harry Potter. That’s true love.

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