We all love that magical experience of holding and owning a brand new book free from the creases and marks of use. But would you sacrifice such joys in order to lend a book to a friend?
When someone asks to borrow a book, we face an internal moral dilema where we have to choose between a perfect book or a happy friend. It’s difficult, and there are clear disadvantages to lending your books. It can be awkward to try and ensure a friend takes optimum care of a book- there’s a fine line between asking someone to be careful and insulting their trustworthiness.
And it is about trust. If you can’t trust a friend with a book then don’t lend it to them- but sometimes you just have to accept that a perfect book can’t last forever. Pages fold and spines crack no matter how careful you are with them. So maybe don’t be too hard on your friend if the book isn’t returned to you in a flawless condition.
Personally, I think it’s great to share your books. It helps out a friend who may not have the chance or funds to get the book for themselves. It also shows that friend- who may have picked up on your devotion to your books- that you trust them with your possessions. It’s obviously not nice to have a book returned to you waterlogged and wrecked (believe me, I know) but this isn’t something that is likely to happen, and if it did it wouldn’t be on pupose.
Being willing to share your books will also encourage your friends to read what you enjoy reading. And there really can’t be much better than discussing the ins and outs of a great book with a friend.
Aside from the joys of sharing your books with a friend, I honestly think that a well-read book is more pleasing to hold and experience than a brand new one. It adds character to the object and gives you the frankly wonderful feeling that this book has been loved before. It’s for this reason that I often buy books second hand either online or from a store- just to know your book has a history.
So next time you get the chance to lend someone a book, just go for it and see how it benefits you, your friends and the book itself.
Happy book sharing!
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