I hate asking for my stuff back. I hate making it sound like all I've been thinking about is that book, CD, movie, etc... that I loaned to someone months ago. I shouldn't feel bad -- it's really the bad borrowers who owe the mia culpa -- but I do. But at the same time, I hate losing those books, TV shows on DVD and movies. (Nobody asks to borrow CDs anymore.)[...]
My unscientific guess is that 90 percent of people who borrow something, unless it's again, your car, are not going to return it unless prodded. And it won't always be in the condition you last saw it in. Three months seems a pretty reasonable borrowing time. If you haven't gotten back whatever you loaned out by then, then you're never going to, and if the person hasn't watched, listened to or read it by then, same deal.[...]
There are people, though, who do say no. A close friend is in that group. She just tells people she doesn't let loan things. And if she does have a moment of weakness, she has no problem asking for her stuff back. She knows that people not only are bad at returning things, but that they're not always concerned about the condition they return it in.Over the years, I find myself less and less willing to loan things like books and DVDs out unless they go to someone who knows me well enough to understand that I value the items and expect to get them back in the same condition they were in when I handed them over. That is particularly true with books because of something that happened to me a long time ago: a family member from out of town took six books off my bookshelf one day when he stopped by to see my wife while I was at work. Now you have to understand that the books on display were the ones I was proudest to own - only those earned a spot on the shelf. I was shocked when I got home to find that my wife just couldn't say know and had let the books be carted off. Well, they were returned about six weeks later reeking of the cigarette smoke in which they had been saturated for the entire time. I finally just gave up on trying to get the stink out of them and repurchased all six.
That was the last time I loancd out a book (20+ years ago) until last week. I was caught a bit off guard and loaned out a new hardcover I haven't yet read myself. I don't expect to ever see it again - unless I push the issue.
Do you guys loan out books - or do you prefer to give them away (as I prefer doing)?