I’m not very good about sharing my books. I hoard them, but in an organized sort of way. And I always know which one has been removed from its place–‘cuz there’s a giant hole where it used to be–and exactly where it is. However, I do let a few hand-selected folks borrow a book every now and again. I realize I sound entirely selfish and like a literary snob, but honestly, 90% of my books are used and I’m only tight-fisted with them because I treasure them. And because I’ve known my sisters to lend out books and never see them again. Lesson learned.
Last summer, I read all of the Anne books and I absolutely loved them, so I persuaded Miss A. to read one or two and let her take them home with her. That was probably 4 months or more ago. A few weeks ago, I started getting antsy about said volumes. I knew where they were, I just thought they should have been read and returned by that point. I get nervous when they stay away from home too long; you never know what sort of disaster might befall them.
So I called Miss A. intending to ask her to return my books. I made small talk for a bit and then asked if she was enjoying the books I’d loaned her. She said she was loving them! I was so glad to hear it; I felt better knowing they were being appreciated and not lying around someplace collecting dust under someone’s week-old coffee. I know Miss A. stays very busy with work and school, so I can’t fault her for not having time to read for fun, and of course I wouldn’t have the heart to ask for them now I know she enjoys getting to know Anne, Diana, Gil, Marilla, and the gang.
I also lent her all of my DVDs because she sometimes gets bored at her apartment or just wants to watch a movie with some of the girls. I asked how she was liking those and she offered such a positive review of several and expressed how glad she was to have them on loan that I just couldn’t ask for those, either. So I’m feeling a bit unbalanced because I know things are missing from my stores.
On my last trip home a few weeks ago, I discovered that not only am I a poor lender, I am also a hesitant borrower. My mom offered to loan me some magazines she said she was finished with, so I agreed to take them home with me for a little light reading some quiet evening. Later she remembered she had other magazines I might like, though she hadn’t read them yet or had begun but not finished a few. I told her no thanks. She was confused as to why I refused her second offer, but I told her I just hated to have something I would have to remember to return to her. I’ve got enough space junk floating about in my noggin I have to keep track of without adding anything else to the mess. On the bright side, at least I know I’m not a timely borrower; it’s better to know it for myself than to have to hear it from someone else!
What sort of borrower/lender are you?
Are there particular items you loan out frequently or others you rarely lend?
Are there items you borrow frequently but forget to return?
What experiences have helped develop these attitudes?