I’m not proud of this, but I don’t lend books. I’ve never been able to find anyone who takes care of them as well (ie: as neurotically) as I do, and so I am always sad when they are returned because inevitably the corners are smushed or the spine is cracked or the books otherwise show signs of – gasp! – having been read. And then I go down a destructive spiral of being annoyed with the person, trying to forgive the person, being annoyed at myself for being annoyed, and trying to forgive myself for being the kind of person who gets annoyed at such trivial things . It’s all a lot of unnecessary and exhausting emotion.
But recently one of my closest friends asked for a book when she was going into hospital for her pregnancy to be monitored. I couldn’t exactly say, no! You might crease the cover! I couldn’t, and I didn’t want to. I love that she came to me when she was in need of something good to read. I love being generous. And I love sharing my love of books. I wish I were the kind of person who lent books. I wish I weren’t so precious about them as objects – I really do.
And so it turns out that there are very specific circumstances under which I will lend books, after all. Over on Book Riot, I wrote about what they are.