Loaning Books: Tell Your Anecdote

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
5,752
#1
Paul C

THE BOOK REPORT: How many books do you own?

gave me the idea for this thread. This is a place to tell your stories of books loaned and never returned, loaned and returned damaged, or perhaps even read and returned promptly with expressions of gratitude.

It's not really intended to be a place for theorizing about why people who would return your Tupperware containers don't return your books.

Around 1983, I loaned the Penguin Classics paperback of Pascal's Pensées and the University of Chicago edition of Folktales of Norway to a friend. He has not returned them. In fairness (?) to him, we lost track of one another within a couple or so years afterwards, and I have moved a lot.

Around 2000, I loaned The Habit of Being -- the letters of Flannery O'Connor -- to an acquaintance (and he was a pastor's son!). That book and others were never returned. He was visiting and had my implied permission to take the books home with him... for a while.

Within the past couple of years or so, I loaned someone a vintage paperback of Geoffrey Household's Rogue Male. I'm not sure now who it was. He or she must still have it, or have lost it in a move.

1546355404706.png


Around 1979, a former teacher of mine, and friend, loaned me a copy of Carol Levi's Christ Stopped at Eboli. I never got around to reading it but kept it through many moves. Eventually, around 25 years later, I tracked him down and sent him a replacement copy, as the one I had wasn't it good shape. I still have that copy and maybe this year I'll actually read it.

1546355771025.png
 

Paul_C

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
466
Location
Northampton UK
#2
I lent a copy of Watership Down to an English Lit. teacher who failed to return it - I bough a second copy in the end, but was very disappointed in her ;)

Two or three (or maybe more) Tom Sharpe books lent to a friend at school were lent by him to his brother who went off to university and took them with him, never seen again.

I'm sure there are more, but none I can recall right now.
 

Bick

A Member of the Forum
Supporter
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,886
Location
Auckland, NZ
#3
I've lent out perhaps three or four books in my life and none have been returned that I can think of. The last was about 28 years ago and I now never lend books, except to my wife and son (with both of whom I share a house). Sometimes I'm asked by folk if they can borrow a book, and I prevaricate, change the subject at the time I'm asked, or 'forget' about the request. I have also simply said, no!

I lent Paul Theroux's Mosquito Coast to a friend in the late 1980's. I finally replaced it with the same edition found in a used book store earlier this year. It was good to get it back.

I have given books from my shelves to friends though, albeit rarely - this is okay as I can't be disappointed that it wont be returned. I've given a book to a good friend from my personal library and then gone out and bought myself a replacement straightway. I was happy to do that.
 

soulsinging

the dude abides
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
2,169
#4
Books are a big investment of time. I know we love them, but most people don't. To a lot of people, even readers, handing them a book is like assigning them homework or a very time-consuming task they didn't really want on their to-do list. Accordingly, I never give someone a book unsolicited or just as a recommendation, and if I give it to you, it's because you seemed interested, I think you'd like it, and I'l never expect it back.

One of my closest friends used to give me books he thought I should read all the time, and I read maybe 1 of 5, because I have my own massive list of to-read books I want to get through and usually if the loaner isn't on there already it's because I'm not THAT interested (to be fair, this friend had tastes that veered towards the very dark and depressing). I did usually give them back, but as much because I'm OCD and didn't want them on my shelf as anything else.

So in short, my guess would be we're not getting them back because they're not being read. Maybe once your friends have all retired or won the lottery, they'll read and return them :)

I'm also surprised on an SF board nobody is familiar with the Commander's advice on this subject:

38511422_2169077516706610_3708413400615747584_n.jpg
 

Ian Fortytwo

Humans will never rule.
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
19
#5
I keep making the same mistake, lending my books and then never having them returned. I must stop lending to people I thought I could trust. Another thing I no longer borrow books from a library after finding several have been vandalised by someone else.
 

nixie

pixie druid
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
4,854
Location
I may live in Yorkshire but I'm a Scot
#6
I keep making the same mistake, lending my books and then never having them returned. I must stop lending to people I thought I could trust. Another thing I no longer borrow books from a library after finding several have been vandalised by someone else.
I wonder if you and @TheEndIsNigh share a library.

My brother and I lend each other books, he did once give me back an omnibus of the first 5 Amber books when I'd lent him the the great book of Amber

Can't really complain about people not returning books, I still have 5 of @SilentRoamer's Wheel of Time
 

Extollager

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
5,752
#8
That maxim ("never give someone a book unsolicited" etc.) sounds prudent. There may be occasional situations in which I will offer a book to someone who hasn't asked for it, but I don't press it on him or her.
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
Supporter
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Messages
2,921
#9
I wonder if you and @TheEndIsNigh share a library.

My brother and I lend each other books, he did once give me back an omnibus of the first 5 Amber books when I'd lent him the the great book of Amber

Can't really complain about people not returning books, I still have 5 of @SilentRoamer's Wheel of Time
I doubt it @nixie. The books I return to a library rarely make it back to the shelves.

I
 

TheDustyZebra

Aspiring notaphilist
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2009
Messages
8,711
Location
Colorado
#10
My brother and I lend each other books, he did once give me back an omnibus of the first 5 Amber books when I'd lent him the the great book of Amber
I still have the first three Amber books because someone I worked with loaned them to me and then quit his job and moved away.

I had to buy a new copy of Time Enough for Love because I loaned it to someone and have no idea who, and they didn't give it back. Stupid thing is, there are only two or three suspects and all of them swear it wasn't them. Oh, and the same group of suspects apparently did the same with my Bellwether, so I had to buy it again too.
 

WarriorMouse

My education started the day I finished school.
Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
184
Location
I'm right here!
#11
I only lent books to one person because, he always returns them. I never borrow books but I will snap a photo of interesting ones I see on peoples book shelves. I then check out synopsis's and maybe purchase them from online used stores.
 

Similar threads

Top