Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend?
(Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?)
And, DO you return books you borrow?
I have to admit, my library. With a library, you know exactly where you stand–it’s due this particular date (with two renewals, which means I can keep a book for a month and a half unless it’s on hold), the books are bound to survive the slight abuse I might put them through, and I feel completely free in studding it with Post-It notes.
With friends’ books, it’s different. I have friends who don’t care about what shape their books are in, and I have friends who care so much that they’d rather buy a new and sealed book off Amazon rather than a new book from the bookstore, since people have been rifling through it. Because I run a book blog and I usually have a pile of books to read, I may not get around to the book in time to return it timely to my friend. My friends are very sweet and offer their books all the time, but I’m always worried that their book will bear witness to the one time I rip off a Post-It note too vigorously and tear a page. Library books are built to go through plenty of hands; some personal libraries aren’t, and I’m fine with that.
And of course I turn in my books on time–it defeats the purpose of free books if I have to pay for them! But in any case, the fines are so small–something like five cents a day both here at school and at home–that it barely matters. I usually turn in books the weekend after I finish them, when I have time to run errands (including swinging by the library).