The 4 horrors of book-lending

Today, someone at DayJob commented on how much they’d like to try a book by Linda Howard.

Then, they pointedly looked at the book in my hands (by Linda Howard) and asked if I was done with it.

I was done alright. But I wasn’t letting that book out of my hands. Not only is Linda Howard one of my favourite authors, I’ve lent out books in the past and horrible things have happened.

Allow me to explain the insufferable horrors and my reactions.

HORROR #1.

They broke the spine or tore pages.

I read my books and hold them like cherished babies. Nothing gets folded or disrupted. If people break any part of them from the spine to the pages, I cry.

Reaction: I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

HORROR #2.

They spilled something on it.

I don’t care if it’s water (and it usually isn’t). People have returned books after spilling coffee, gum or some strange, sticky substance among the pages.

Reaction: I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

HORROR #3.

They lost it or ‘lent’ it to someone else.

With or without apologies, the bottom line is my book is gone and I have a hole in my heart.

Reaction:  I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

HORROR #4.

They wrote in it.

I don’t care if someone thinks they’re Plato with the insight to move millions or if they saw an ‘editing’ mistake and had to fix it. I don’t want their writing in my book.

Reaction: I cursed all their ancestors and wished they were geckos.

 

After experiencing all 4 of these horrors, I’ve resorted to not lending out books. Ever. I keep them in their shelves, neatly and carefully organized by genre. Not a page out of place.

I like to think they’re happy. More importantly, so am I.

And so are the geckos.

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