Apr 10 2017 7:17am

Do You Have Rules When You Loan a Book?

When you loan out a book, it's with the idea that the person you are loaning it to will enjoy it. However, there's another unwritten expectation—that they'll also take care of it! it can be pretty devastating when you get a book back that you loaned to someone and have the spine be decimated, or the pages dog-eared. So, before that happens—or because it's happened one too many times—do you have any rules for people who borrow your book? What are they? Do you have a “blacklist” of people who are not allowed to borrow books from you any more? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

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1. BenidormBabe
The only person I leant books to was my late mother. Plus its not possible now to lend ebooks!
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
@BenidormBabe, SOME books you can lend--I think they have to be pretty old or self-published. At least through Kindle. But yeah, moms kind of get a free pass for book lending, don't they? I went away to college and found a bunch of my books on my mom's night stand. I like to think she was missing me but in reality she probably just didn't want to go to the library ;)
Elizabeth Poteet
3. ElizabethPoteet
I go to used bookstores (shoutout to any Tennesseans who know McKay's is the best place ever!) and literally stock up on my favorites for the low, low price of $1.50. When I lend a book out, I know it's never coming back to me. I've "loaned" people so many copies of Ransom by Julie Garwood and The Ugly Ducking by Iris Johansen in the last 10 years. So that's kinda my rule, if you love it, keep it!
4. keen23
I only loan out books that I am not really expecting to get back. It's a pleasant surprise when they are returned.
Heather Waters
5. HeatherWaters
Off-topic, but now I want to reread RANSOM and THE UGLY DUCKLING again, @ElizabethPoteet. May I ask why those are the ones you lend the most?

@keen23 -- I need to take a page from your loaning strategy book. That's smart.
Elizabeth Poteet
6. ElizabethPoteet
@HeatherWaters Well, UGHLY DUCKLING is a perfected Romance 101 book for mystery lovers. A heroine who is broken, a hero who is Alpha in all the yummy ways, just enough heat, and an ending that is not too cliche or Big Romantic Gesture! which can turn off some newbies. Plus, Iris is not aromance romance author. Her roots are in the genre but she writes mysteries now, so you can normally lure I'm-sure-I-don't-love romance readers into it's web.

And for RANSOM. I just find it very accessible. It was the first historical romance I had ever picked up, you can get it in HC in libraries if you are still in the "What, I don't read romance, you read romance" phase of life. And it's historical-lite. Not too heavy on the history, but it has allll the right tropes.
7. lauralee1912
Anytime I loaned a book out I never expected to see it again, especially if I lent it to my mother. She always forgot who started the book exchange! When she died, she had a lot of credit left at the used book store. If I really feel a friend or relative needs to read a book, I buy it for them.
Amanda T.
8. Amanda T.
I will only lend out books I am not emotionally attached to. Unless it is to my friend who reads and respects books as much as me. She is the only exception, I'll loan her anything. I have seen too many books go missing or get torn up to trust people.
Amanda T.
9. Karen H near Tampa
I don't lend out books unless I'm okay with never seeing them again, so I don't loan out any books really. I did loan a book to my Mom once and it was returned with spine creased and pages bent over so I told her I'd never loan her a book again (so, in my case, moms do not get a pass). But I am very willing to go to the library and get books for her and I keep her well supplied.
Teddy Pierson
11. TeddyP
My rule is they have to write an essay on the book.
Amanda T.
12. Brittany Davidson
No dog earing a book, use an actual book mark, and other than that, mostly I loan out ones I might not see again because of distance between me and who I loan it to. :/ I never loan out my hard backs. Ever.
Amanda T.
13. Maranda67
I made the mistake of loaning out one of my most beloved hardbacked books to a friend. He promised he'd take good care of it, use a bookmark, not bend the spine, etc. I got it back a few weeks later and saw that someone had used it as a coaster. There was a dark circle on the front cover that was made by a sweating glass. It's still there, but thank goodness I still have the dustjacket to cover it!

Suffice it to say that I do not lend out books to anyone anymore.
susan beamon
14. susanbeamon
I used to loan books, but too often, even after requesting the loanee use the bookmark I put in the book for that purpose, I kept getting dogeared books back. The very last book I loaned someone came back as if it had been used in a paintball fight. It really looked like one of those blooming onion side dishes. Now the olny people I share a book with are my parents, who take very good care of books. If I "loan" a book to anyone elae, it's because I have a second copy and don't need it back. You can never have too many bookmarks.
Amanda T.
15. Andrea M Farris
NO Dog ears! Also no cracked spines or bent cover. People have come close to being blacklisted but none actually yet.
Amanda T.
16. lizzie18
Nope, not rules. And that's because I don't lend books anymore, I've been burnt too often. Either they come back in bad shape or they don't come back at all. And I've even had some that I lent out and then the person lent it out herself to someone else !!!
So now forget it, no more lending.

I do GIVE my used books to friends, community centers, hospitals, but of course none of them are my 'keepers'. So giving away is fine with me, lending is not.
Amanda T.
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24. willaful
I also only lend books not expecting to ever see them again. I actually snap up used copies of some favs whenever I see them, to have loaner copies.

My MIL was the worst... I loaned her a book and she read it in the *bathtub*. She has no respect for paperback books at all, they're just throwaways to her.
Amanda T.
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