Armchair BEA 2014 – Book Lending Policy


I have two different sets of books: my Permanent Collection – which is virtually never leant to anyone – and my general collection.

The Permanent Collection

This collection  is usually the hardbacks (plus other books, such as my Persephone Greys) that I’d rather not lend out to others. This is because ultimately I dont trust people to either return them in the first place, or return them in the same state as I leant them out (so: no broken spine, no writing in the margins, no dog ears, the matching book mark returned etc).

The General Collection

My general collection is treated in the opposite way – these are usually paperbacks, many of them second hand, and the only proviso is that I have to decide whether I’m going to read the book before I lend it out. I have leant some of these books, wanting to read it and asking for it back, only to find out that the borrower has read it and passed it onto friends, despite the explicit instruction of “you have to give it back”. Therefore this person only gets to borrow the books I have already read. I usually have a pile of books sitting in the corner that I have already read or I dont intend to read specifically to be lent out to others.

Letting the book go.

Meanwhile I am also a member of Bookcrossing, where you can register a book and then release it, hoping that someone will pick it up and pass it along. Many of my books are released in a controlled manner, usually in places that have a bookshelf I can leave them on. I used to be really focussed on wishing people would mark the fact they had picked it up, but now I am much more relaxed about it – if it happens it happens!

So what’s your policy on lending your books out to other people?


10 thoughts on “Armchair BEA 2014 – Book Lending Policy

  1. I am really funny about print books. If I have not read it yet, it doesn’t go anywhere. I let my mother borrow a book about a year and a half ago, and I have yet to see it back and she still has not read it. And she has no idea where it is… So now, I don’t really lend out books. I will give them away to people if I have no intention of ever reading it again. But if it is a part of a series that I may reread when the next book comes out, it stays put on my shelves. Plus, I abhor dog-eared pages and broken spines. No one else I know in face to face life cares about either of those things.

    Lisa @Just Another Rabid Reader


  2. Cool! I didn’t know about book crossing and it seems like a pretty neat idea. Definitely something I’ll have to try with books I’m less attached to, but as of right now I have a hard time letting books go. Maybe once I move again and realize how heavy books are to move.


  3. I pretty much never lend books… but then, I don’t exactly have people in my real life clamoring to borrow my books. If I did, I don’t know how I would refuse them, or if I’d even be able to. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t have many readers in my life.


  4. We moved 2 years ago, so I don’t have any friends around me anymore. There would probably only be one friend (if I still lived near her) that I would let borrow my books now, because she would take care of them. I let one person borrow my HPs and my Kingdom Keepers and she still has both (and is no longer a friend, so not getting those back) and I asked another “friend” to hold onto my Trixie Belden’s when I moved, and she got rid of them. So yeah, no more lending out.


  5. I never lend books anymore. I have a permanent collection that goes NOWHERE. (I try to cull that collection regularly and keep it under control) Then I have all the other books that make their way in and out of my home regularly. If I give someone a book to read I’m giving it to them forever. 😀

    I used to do book crossing as well, but I was discouraged because I never heard back from one of them 😦 Now, I’ll just take a stack of books and leave them at the local coffee joint. I’ll also send ARCs to fellow bloggers.

    Great topic, thanks!


  6. I don’t lend books out, but that is largely due to the fact that hardly any of my inrl friends read as much as I do. I do lend books to one friend or my mother every now and then. I don’t get overly concerned about lending books out, because if I ever got around to actually wanting to read it again, I could just buy another!


  7. I generally lend books/movies/TV sets to anyone who asks. If I have a bad experience with them, I will stop. But so far, things have come back in great shape.


  8. I generally have a policy where I am willing to lend the book out, but am prepared to accept that it may not come back. Been pretty lucky with the return of my books, though! Now, that could be because it is usually family or someone I know really, really well.


  9. I used to lend out books, until one day a “friend” gave one of my books back to me all wrinkled. Her excuse: she dropped it in the tub while reading and thought letting it dry out would make it all fine again. She didn’t even offer an apology, or offer to replace it. Since then, I refuse to lend any of my “babies” out.


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