Friday, June 3, 2011
TGIF - Hoard or Lend?
Ginger at GReads is asking this week: Do you share your books with others? Who was the last person you sent a book to?
This has always been a touchy subject for me as I tend to hoard books in the way that some people collect spoons or cow figurines or fancy designer dolls. I have a few prized books that are out of print and would be very difficult to replace; these are hidden away so even my friends and family don't know I possess them and therefore, are completely out of temptation's reach for anybody. While I'm not such a purist anymore, I also have a problem when books are returned in a different condition from the way they were when I lent them out. I had a friend, in particular, who didn't care about the treatment of her books, and continuously returned my books with the front cover half missing, pages ripped, corners bent, and so on. I drove me absolutely crazy and I ended up not lending her any more books. For one thing, I paid good money for them so I figured people should at least take care of somebody else's possession, but it seems that books don't always fall in this category for many people.
Speaking of hoarding, I have gotten a lot better in the past few years, and don't have as much of a problem giving books away as I used to. There are certain ones that I will keep for myself because I enjoyed them so much, and I usually tend to keep those that are signed by the author. Lately, I've been sharing some of them with students in my classes and they seem to be enjoying them. I've also been thinking of donating some of them to my school library as they can always use a few extra fiction novels and would appreciate it. I still have an issue with books being returned in a bad state, but only because I feel people should take care of other people's possessions, not because of the treatment of the book itself. If it belongs to you, do what you want with it, except please don't treat first editions and other rare books as if they can be replaced. Take care of those ones!!
I'm off to go for a walk with my family and enjoy this absolutely beautiful spring evening. Cheers, everyone!