Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dear Heloise - 2



I can't believe that I've found another book-related item in the "Dear Heloise" column, but there it was in my morning paper. This one regards the fact that books loaned out to friends don't always come back home and offers a unique reason why that might happen.




Dear Heloise:

I've read several hints in your column offering methods for ensuring that books are returned promptly to their owners after they've been loaned out. It occurred to me that one of the reasons people don't return books in a timely fashion is because they didn't ask to borrow those books in the first place.

I know many well-meaning friends have loaned books to me that I had no interest in reading. Since I'm afraid that when I return one of these unsolicited books the owner will ask me how I liked the book and I'll have to confess that I didn't read it, those are the books I'm always slowest to return. Your readers might have a better rate of return on the books they loan if they lend only books that people have asked to borrow.

PAM, Sacramento, Calif.
I suppose that it makes a certain amount of sense but it's not something that I've experienced because I never push books on my friends and would never bother to let them push an "unreadable" book on me. In fact, I cringe when friends ask to borrow books and I have a canned response that I use to let them know that I just don't loan books to others. Now, I don't mind giving books away, especially spare copies and a few that I just don't see any reason to keep. But when I do that, I don't want, or expect, to ever see them again (the books, that is, not the friends).

Have you guys ever experienced anything akin to what is described in this letter?

12 comments:

  1. Heh. I must admit I've held on to some borrowed books for years because I just haven't gotten around to reading them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds as if "Pam from Sacramento" may be on to something. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am usually pretty honest. If I don't want to read a book I will say so and I rarely loan my books to anyone. I also don't like to borrow from anyone except the library. I guess I am just quirky that way. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've tried Amy's method but some people won't take no for an answer, insisting *their* book is so remarkably wonderful I just HAVE to read it. Gah. It doesn't help that they know I read all the time anyway. So yes, I've held onto books for that reason.

    Also? Even if I've asked to borrow it? Once a book enters my home.....it's mine! Mine, mine, mine. Just ask my brother. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always plan on never seeing a book if I loan it out, but since I teach English for a living and have some students that have NEVER read a book, I don't mind giving my books away with the idea that someone, some day might read something that they wouldn't have if I hadn't given them the opportunity.
    So that's to say I give away, not loan.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Someone pressed The Ya-Ya Sisterhood AND Ya-Yas In Bloom upon me years ago. I waited a decent interval, then gave them back. I'm just not going to read anything with Ya-Ya or Sisterhood in the title!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I hate to say it, but I am very careful about who I loan books out to, as well. I've had a few bad experiences--even with people who are also big readers. I loaned a new hardcover that I had gotten from the UK to a coworker. She never returned it, and then she retired!! I don't think I'll ever see that one again. I never push off a book to anyone either. Just because I loved it,doesn't mean anyone else will.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm like you, Amy, in that I don't borrow books that I don't plan to read. Heck, I have enough unread books laying around the house already. I don't feel bad about borrowing books, though, because I've become very careful, over the years, with how I handle books, and it's almost impossible to tell if I've read them when I'm done.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Andi, there's a special feeling that comes from giving away books, isn't there? I used to leave books in public places years ago, especially on trains and buses (way before it became popular to track books on the internet that had been "released into the wild"), in hopes that someone else would enjoy them as much as I had...probably never happened, but I liked to think that it had.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Bybee, I hear you...those titles are as bad as pink book covers. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  11. Danielle, do you think she planned it that way. The timing was suspect. LOL

    When I was pushed out the door of my company in March, I walked away with some things belonging to others. In one case, I have still not been able to locate the person and I have some VHS tapes that I know he's worried about losing. It's driving me nuts.

    ReplyDelete