So, I’m sure any bookworm with reader friends knows how easily it is to get burned when lending out your books. And I bet you know even better how gut-wrenching it is to entrust something practically sacred to you, only to have your friend return it waterlogged, front cover bent or torn off, pages missing, etc. I’ve had this happen so many times, and yet I still refuse to learn?? Because I still keep lending my books out to friends who I know don’t take care of their books as much as I do?? Anyway, the most recent heartbreak came in the form of a white hardcover book being returned with grey and yellowed splotches across the front and back ( and I really don’t think I want to know what from ). I could have broke down into tears right then and there, I think. Because they keep dong things like this, ruining my in-near-perfect-condition books despite my telling them time and time again to look after them! Is nothing sacred anymore?
Anyway, having such strong feelings on this, I thought I’d make a blog post about borrowing books, so essentially this is a guide to keeping a bookworm’s
books heart safe. Because if the friend you’re borrowing books from is anything like me and cares very much for the condition of their books, or you’re a bookworm who’s very apprehensive about lending out your books out to your careless friends, this is something you or your friends should probably read up on.
No Snacking While Reading! ( I know, I know, how can I take away your food?!)
I’d say this one is probably one of the most important, because crumbs inbetween pages, or drink stains that crumple the pages are near impossible thins to fix. And if you want to still be on speaking terms with the one you’re lending from / lending to, then it has to be done.
Don’t Open The Book All The Way While Reading
Now this one’s easier said then done, because it’s so easy to become distracted while reading, and the deeper you fall into the story the closer we want to get to the pages and the world within, but opening the book as wide as a hippopotamus’ jaws isn’t going to mean you’ll suddenly fall in and land in the world of the book. Instead, you’ll find you get some super annoying and ugly cracks in the spine of the books.
If Travelling, Or Taking The Book Somewhere, Use A Book Sleeve
These can be found plenty of places ( just about every online bookshop ), or you could make them yourself simply enough! And aside from their merits in keeping your books flat and unweathered, they’re also super gorgeous! Book sleeves have relieved so much of my own anxiety when I take a book with me while I’m out and about. I even got a second one, so that if I ever decide I’m happy to lend books out to my friends again, I can send the book sleeve with the book ( and they’ll have no excuse for returning it damaged! )
Don’t, Under Any Circumstances, Fold Over The Pages
Seriously, just don’t. There are a million things that you could use as a bookmark – a scrap piece of paper, string, an actual bookmark, – so there’s no need to dog ear anything. Because it’s very hard to get a book to sit flat properly if half it’s pages are creased from being folded all the time.
Don’t Write In, Underline Or Highlight Anything Within The Book
This should really go without saying, I mean, writing in your own books is . . fine ( Argh, I think a part of me actually died a little inside after saying that ) because that’s your choice, but doing it in other peoples books without their explicit permission is . . . ( I’m literally shuddering at the thought )
Keep The Book Far, Far Away From The Bath And The Pool
Having a book anywhere near water is risk you really shouldn’t be taking with someone else’s possessions, unless you’re prepared to buy them another book to replace the one you got waterlogged.
And Lastly, If Something Does Happen To The Book, Offer To Replace It
Accidents can’t always be avoided, I know, so if something does happen, and the book does get damaged, make the offer to your friend to replace it.
So, this is a pretty small list, and I only really covered the basics ( I could keep going, but then I’ll start sounding less like a friend giving another friend a few guidelines and more like a dictator trying to take control over everything ) but I didn’t want to go too overboard! So, I hope this helps you if you’re one of the more careless borrowers of books, or if you’re the one lending books out to those careless people, I hope this helps your friends understand that you’re not just trusting them with your books, you’re actually trusting them with little pieces of your heart.
Have you ever been burned when lending a book out to a friend? What’s the worst condition that one of your books has been returned to you in?