Booking Through Thursday: Borrowing

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).

12 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Borrowing

  1. I haven’t participated in this one in a long time! I like the topic today, though, and got wound up in it and posted it over on my Going Out on a Limb site:

    http://takingarisk.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/booking-through-thursday-borrowing-nov-18/

    I don’t like to borrow from friends, either, for some of the reasons you listed. I am very careful with books, but every once in awhile (with my own books) I will inadvertently leave a mark. I don’t dog ear the books, though; not even my own. I have little bookmarks (that publicize my own books), and when I’m out and about, I occasionally find people who ask about the bookmark.

    Thanks for posting about this topic.

  2. I borrow from friends and co-workers and loan out a lot of books too. Lately, I’m having trouble remembering what books I shared…I think it might be time for a list of some sort. 🙂

  3. Yep, library for me too. The library can’t ask you if you liked it and then struggle to conceal how crushed it is that you hated its favorite book. That is always my worry when I borrow a book from somebody else.

  4. I’m with you! Library books, all the way. I need that deadline and the threat of fines to get things read. Plus, I like not having the guilt of keeping a book pristine and reading it in a timely manner that the library allows.

    I also end up buying a TON of used books, either at used book stores or at library sales. We don’t really have a good independent bookstore where I live, and I don’t so much like shopping at B&N or Borders if I can help it.

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