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BTT: Own Or Borrow?

June 9, 2011

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All things being equal (money, space, etc), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?

This is a bit touchy, personally, right now. I have always been a big lender of books and, for that reason, I like to own my books so I can read them and distribute them to my friends to read. The problem I always run in to is that once I lend them out, they never get back to m. So then I have a predicament: Do I really like owning books after all or am I just buying books for other people? I feel like if I just buy them for myself and never lend them out, there’s no point in having them on my shelf. On the flip side, if I simply own them to give them away, i might as well just buy people presents rather than buying myself the books.

That said, if I knew I’d always get my books back, I would definitely prefer to own my books and lend them out Again, this is as long as I end up getting them back to lend and lend again.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2011 5:58 am

    Well known problem for libraries ๐Ÿ™‚
    I like to own some and borrow some, and lending the ones I really love to a few special people who usually return them at some point ๐Ÿ™‚

    • June 9, 2011 6:30 am

      Hahaha, too funny. Yes, I’m fast learning the ones I can lend to and those I can not!

  2. June 9, 2011 7:11 am

    I like your reply and used to have the same problem. Now I only lend books to people I know will return them – and only books that I can risk losing. This after a friend got angry with me and threw away one signed limited first ed, as well as 3 more first ed. I know that ultimately they’re just things, but still…

    Here’s my answer: http://killmeifistop.blogspot.com/2011/06/btt-own-or-borrow.html

  3. June 9, 2011 7:51 am

    I’ve gotten picky about who I lend my books to for that exact reason. Having said that, I’ve gotten much better about letting go of books I didn’t love.

  4. June 9, 2011 8:03 am

    I know exactly where you’re coming from! I too buy loads of books but rarely keep any back to keep. If I’ve enjoyed reading a book I want other people to enjoy it too. Even if we only have a 5 minute conversation about the book afterwards it feels like we’ve shared an experience. lol.

    This is one of the reasons I joined Bookcrossing. Have you heard of it? This is my page: http://bookcrossing.com/referral/CrazyCrayfish

    Bookcrossing means to leave a book in a public place so that another person can pick it up, read it, then leave it in a public place for the next person to pick up. (Or you can do ‘controlled releases’ which means you give it to someone you know).

    Before releasing the book ‘into the wild’ you register it online, then if youโ€™re lucky at some future date someone will type the registration number into the website and leave you message. Youโ€™ll never see the books again, but every now and then you might get a postcard from their travels. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. June 9, 2011 10:36 am

    I mostly borrow books, but I also lend those I own ( only to the people I trust to return them unharmed:)) My BTT post.

  6. June 9, 2011 12:45 pm

    Iโ€™m a big re-reader so I like to own my books. My sister is the only person who borrows my books and when she does I usually never see them again.
    Sally.
    http://theelifylop.blogspot.com/2011/06/booking-through-thursday-21.html

  7. June 9, 2011 12:53 pm

    The books I am really fond of I won’t lend out.

    http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2011/06/booking-through-thursday_09.html

  8. June 9, 2011 1:05 pm

    I do selective hoarding NOW! I already own more than 2500 books!

    Here is my BTT: Own or Borrow post!

  9. June 9, 2011 2:01 pm

    I lend to select individuals only. I actually, don’t have many friends who share the love of books like I do, so it’s not really a problem for me. I do love to own them, though!

    Booking Through Thursday

  10. June 9, 2011 4:08 pm

    I prefer to own the books I read, but often like you, I lend them out. I never seem to see them again after that, and you would think I would learn my lesson and stop lending, but I never seem to stop. It always fills me with ire when people don’t return my books.

  11. June 9, 2011 4:36 pm

    Hi, stopping by to read your BTT and add my 2 cents. I have over 500 hundred books. I just started allowing kinfolks and friends to borrow from me. i’m so serious that they have to sign for my books, yep, Sidne’s Home Library. i have a log that has name and date and line for signature. i give everyone two weeks, it it take longer than that you really didnt want to read it, go to the public library. autograph copies never go out. some of my books are children books for my nieces and nephews over night stay. so may i suggest, SIGN OUT copies. sometimes people will return them when they know you got a record of them with it, sometimes people need reminding, so call or go by their house, i did with a friend and found my book on her floor near her bed, half under the bed as if it was kicked by accident, i picked up my book and it went home with me. she had the book for two months. and that was in 2005 and she know now she can’t get another book, its 2011. i have given her books for her birthday but NOT MINE!! NOPE. some people, you just got to put up the RED LIGHT to them
    http://sidnebkclubreviewz.blogspot.com

  12. June 9, 2011 9:07 pm

    I just love being surrounded by my very own books ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. June 9, 2011 10:33 pm

    I prefer to own and I’ve stopped lending out books. I got fed up of rebuying favourite books that were never returned.

  14. June 9, 2011 10:35 pm

    I think that when you lend out a book, you have to be prepared for the book not to be returned to you. It’s just a fact of life, unpleasant, but true. I keep that in mind when I lend my books – with the Kindle, it’s a bit different – obviously, the book will be returned to me, but the problem is that I can only lend it to one person only (*artificial limit set by the publishers and only for certain books).

  15. June 10, 2011 12:09 am

    It’s the same here with the books in my house. My family has quite an extensive library compared to most of our friends. My dad has this whole book cupboard full with theology books. Sometimes he lends them out to his friends and we never see them again! It’s awful the way some people treat borrowed books.

  16. June 10, 2011 8:36 pm

    I do love borrowing books from the library. I get nervous when I borrow books from friends that I will lose them! Isn’t that strange? I don’t think I’ve ever lost someone’s book, but I get worried that I will.

  17. June 10, 2011 10:39 pm

    I think it is such bad form to borrow a book and never return it!!! You need to educate your friends a bit more before lending them your books!

    And to answer the question, I don’t like having a deadline for having to read a book so I’m not the best at borrowing a book (from the library). I like to have them available to me to read when I ‘m ready to read them. However, I’m totally fine with swapping them or giving them away when I’m done. I find that I don’t feel the need to keep many books.

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