Seeker of Happiness

$12 Tote Bags and Some Happy Thoughts

On Lending Out Books

Carrie Chapman5 Comments

I like having a lot of books. I like the way they look, and I like having a good read readily available. E-readers have never really appealed to me. I mean, I've read some books on the kindle app on my phone, but honestly- I went out and bought them when I was done. Because the biggest reason I like owning a lot of books, is that I love lending them to people! I like talking to people about what they're going through in their life and then saying "have you read ____?!" Sometimes they enjoy the book I suggest and sometimes they don't. Which is fine. I put it back on my shelf to read again or lend out again. It's a special kind of service I enjoy doing. 

I like that Scott gave me The Hunger Games series for my birthday one year and the set was usually incomplete on my bookshelf because there was always someone making it through the trilogy. And as they returned it we could look at one another with a new, deeper level of friendship because we had been through something together. 

I like it when my bookshelves are full of tilted books who are trying to save the space of the friend who is missing. 

What I don't enjoy? When the person doesn't give me my book back. I kind of forget about it until I want to read it again, or lend it out to a new person and I realize it's been 4 years and Soandso who SWORE they'd return it has moved and changed their number and apparently deleted their facebook account. 

Back in my early days of college, I read the book He's Just Not That Into You and I loved it. I let every single girl I knew borrow it. It was filled with a rainbow of highlighted passages and thoughts written in the margins by different hands. It had become this kind of sisterhood, this book. The author was warning single women of what to look out for, and people you KNEW were confirming it and giving additional ideas. It was a really special book to my 19 year old self. 

At work one day, a co-worker was going on and on about how her boyfriend was just "really busy" and therefore couldn't call her/take her out/cuddle/etc. I gave her the book. She got fired the next day and I never heard from her again. And I mean, yeah. I was sad she had lost her job but really, I just wanted my book back. I called her, dropped by where she lived, emailed, everything. We weren't the best of friends and I was way more upset about losing my book than I was about not having to listen to her complain about her dumb boyfriend. 

A YEAR later, I was perusing the books at the local thrift store and I saw He's Just Not That Into You, in hardback, on the bookshelf. I decided I would replace my irreplaceable copy, but when I opened it- it had my notes in it. You guys- she had donated my book to a thrift store. And I had to buy it back! In the end, I was pleased to have found it at all, grumpy that I had to buy my own book, and furious that she would go through the effort of donating it instead of sending it back to me. 

I've lost a lot of books from lending them out. I can even name them. The Help*, The Art of Racing in the Rain (which I just replaced with a thrift store copy), The Book Thief and The Lost Art of Listening. 

My point is, if I lend you a book, I trust you. Also, I'll remember if you don't give it back. 



*lost to my freaking landlord of all people. I'm thinking of sending him an invoice.