For bookworms, there are few things more exciting than recommending books to your friends. BUT lending to friends comes with perils because there five types of people who want to borrow your books.
This pesky friend will get all excited when you talk to them about a book you love and will declare that they want to read it right away. You will immediately hesitate, squint your eyes at them, and your brain will ask you if you can trust this person with your beloved. Their enthusiasm will convince you that they’ll read it quickly and give it back to you within a couple of weeks, so you’ll tentatively hand over your book.
A week later, you’ll ask how they’re getting on with it and they’ll say something like, “I haven’t got around to reading it yet, but I’m going to make a start this weekend.”
At this point, your brain will go “I told you so” in a singsong voice and you’ll tell it to shut up.
The weeks go by and the same answer keeps coming. Every time you go around their house, you’ll see it sat on the shelf, collecting dust and not looking like it’s next to be read.
Eventually, after a year passes, you’ll go to their house and rescue it. Maybe you’ll say something, or maybe you’ll say nothing and see how long it takes them to notice, while wondering if it’s illegal to steal something back that is yours. Can you steal your own belongings? I know you can get caught cheating for ‘plagiarizing yourself’, so maybe taking your own things back is stealing.
And the evil voice in your brain will get a slight kick out of the thought of them finally realising it’s missing and stressing out – your brain will call that payback for hogging.
I actually did this once when my friend borrowed The Fault In Our Stars. After a year, I’d had enough and rescued it.
You know the one; you’re probably letting out a low growl now just thinking about this.
I like my books to look pristine, even when they’ve been read, and that means not cracking the spine wide open. It’s entirely possible to comfortably read a book without cracking the spine. But the spinebender doesn’t even consider the damage to your bookbabies and will open the book wide open. Maybe they’ll even flatten it out. The horror.
I am not the kind of person who somehow manages to prevent anything in my bag from becoming bent or crinkled (I do have friends like that, and I’m 100% sure they’re superhuman) – until it comes to books; I treat books like they are precious, delicate pottery. This friend, though, will show your books no such courtesy.
Your book will return to you looking like someone played football with it; the cover will be creased and pages will be wrinkled.
They’ll say something like, “I only put it in my bag to read at school.” And your brain will go, “And you were attacked by a pack of hungry trolls at school were you?”
We all love a good snack (or three) while we’re reading, but YOU DON’T EAT SNACKS OVER BOOKS!
This friend will return your book with little presents left buried deep between the pages. Just no.
This person seems to be a rarity, and they follow exactly the same rules as you when reading books. They will return your book in the same condition they received them; there’ll be no snacking or dog-eared pages, and you’ll both fangirl or fanboy over it together. Make a vow to never fall out with this person.
Is there anything you’d add to this list? Tell bookworm horror stories about times you leant books to friends.