Taking Care Of Borrowed Books

As the owner of so many books, I’ve often been the person that people come to for borrowing them. That is all very well; I’m really glad that you want to read, especially something that I enjoyed too. We can discuss the story, the characters; or you can tell me that you didn’t like it at all. You’re most welcome to do all of that. But you are certainly not welcome to spoil my books. Spoiling includes wrinkled pages/cover, stains on the pages, and the like.

Someone has not been treating the book very nicely at all! Just look at Froggy. Someone has scribbled all over him with markers and crayons! (A book to teach kicks how to take care of books)

A Kindergarten lesson in taking care of books.

But I’m giving you the benefit of doubt. Perhaps you’re not sure how to take care of books? No worries then. The following is a step-by-step procedure that will ensure that the borrowed book can be returned in its original, pristine condition:

  • Keep the book in a shelf (preferably closed to avoid dust).
  • Do not keep heavier books/other items on top of the book.
  • Do not carry the book in your already overflowing bag.
  • Do not mark the pages using pen/pencil/sketch pens etc.
  • Do not fold the pages of the book in lieu of a bookmark.
  • Always, always, always use a bookmark.
  • Keep the book away from windows to save it from dust, rain, wind.
  • Do not keep the book open and turned upside down.
  • Keep the book away from drinks/food.
  • Ensure that your pet/infant does not try to read the book.

If the book lender is Akshita though, here are some additional guidelines:

  • Make keeping the book safe your biggest priority in life.
  • Take care of the book as you would take care of your child.
  • Return the book on time, i.e., within a month (More if the book is bigger).
  • Do NOT wait for Akshita to remind you three times.
  • Do NOT dare tell Akshita that you did not read the book after you return it two months late.
  • Do NOT make fun of Akshita’s book-caring maniaย requirements.

I hope I make myself clear.

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16 thoughts on “Taking Care Of Borrowed Books

  1. I love this, and I am SO with you!! In fact, I think you are incredibly generous for even lending your books out at all. I am positively neurotic about the condition of my books, and will even go as far as sliding them into a zippered foam case before I put them into a bag. I am very reluctant to lend books to anyone, although a good friend of mine actually returns them quickly and in their original condition. Friends like that are hard to find but I am not sure if I am willing to risk looking for them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • Neurotic is the perfect word for me too in this matter! You wouldn’t believe what agony I’ve gone through seeing my books after they are returned. I’ve tried everything; warning people to take care, reminding them to use bookmarks, but no. They will continue to treat my books with utter disregard. I’ve also got just ONE friend who actually complies to all my instructions. For the rest of them, the less said the better!
      Zippered foam case is an excellent idea by the way. Definitely using it now! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • I definitely feel your pain! On the other hand, it is comforting to meet others who share the same neurosis. My brother and I are the same way. I remember once when we were young he had to turn the pages of a magazine for me while I was reading it because he just didn’t feel comfortable letting me do it, ha ha.

        Would you consider not lending your books out (except to that one friend)? You are so generous and kind.

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      • ๐Ÿ˜€ I love your anecdote! I can almost see myself doing something like that!
        Wow, you know what,I AM a bit too generous when it comes to books. I really should draw the line somewhere, especially because I actually physically recoil when a book is damaged! Maybe I should put more stringent filters on the people who are actually allowed to borrow my books, even if that means that only about 2 persons would fit the bill! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. I stopped lending books 5 years ago. A friend took an absolutely new [ all my books remain new for years!] book I had,”English, August”, and never ever returned it. When I asked, I was told “I gave it to someone else and he lost it”. ๐Ÿ˜€ I enjoyed your post and every point is so so true and valid! ๐Ÿ˜€

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    • That’s terrible! Thankfully I haven’t had an experience like this (yet). But that may be because of my continuous nagging; it’s better to be annoying than risk damaging a book, if you ask me!

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  3. Dear Akshita,
    Good.You have established Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for maintaining borrowed books for reading.A poster of this may be displayed in all lending libraries and Resource Centers.
    L.J.Bhagia

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  4. I agree with all those rules! Though I’ve been let down by people too many times now…
    Some examples of what I’ve had done to me:

    + One friend; I lent a book to, brought the book back missing half the front cover and full of bite marks from her dachshund…. She didn’t even read the book!

    + Another friend borrowed three books… After a month I asked her when she’d be finished reading them (cause she’s a quick reader and she should have at least finished one by then)… She then acted upset and said, “Oh, I’m sorry! I thought they were my books! I’ve given them away…”

    + Another friend borrowed two books and three weeks later moved houses… I’ve tried getting in contact with her and she’s suggested that we meet up a few times but as soon as I bring up my books she cancels on me….

    That’s just three of my bad experiences with lending out books… I don’t do it anymore.

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    • Oh my goodness! These are terrible experiences. I’m so sorry. And here I was getting upset over a creased cover! Honestly I don’t know what I would do if something like above situations were to happen to me.

      I think it’s really irresponsible of people to be so casual with other people’s things, especially books. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to lend my books to a person that I don’t know *really* well.

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      • I made the first one buy me the same book to replace the one she destroyed, because it was practically brand new when I lent it to her.. -_-‘
        The other two I don’t really speak to anymore.

        I agree, I can’t believe how anyone can be so disrespectful of another’s personal possessions… Especially since we’d been close friends for years!
        They knew how much my books mean to me. :/
        I’d never have given away or broken anything that they lent me (even if it was something that they considered unimportant), it’s not my place to damage or lose it…
        But not everyone seems to think like that and; since it was my friends who’d done this to me, I’m completely put off with lending out my books.

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