I am all for lending and borrowing books. Books are meant to be read. If you see something on my shelf that catches your attention, you most definitely can borrow it. After finishing a book I really enjoyed, I love sharing it with others to discuss.
Most of the time, my books are returned to me in good condition. Yet, this doesn’t mean that I don’t have horror stories. My sister says I never learn because of this one incident with DVDs that I’m not going to talk about. Instead, I am going to tell you some horrible book lending experiences. (Side-note: I prefer paperbacks and have no real problems with spinal creases; it happens.)
In my post “Why I’m a Reader BOOK TAG” (Why I’m a Reader), I mentioned how I grew up with books. One of the reasons why is because my aunt who lived with us when I was really young left her books when she moved out. I remember reading some of the books she left behind – one of them being a hardcover 5th volume of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Anyways, I lived very near my high school, and people would drop by all the time. My parents were super chill about it. They are the best by the way. So, one day, a friend and her friend swung by and the friend’s friend wanted to read Chicken Soup for the Soul. I was more than willingly to share the fifth volume with her because I didn’t know anyone else who read Chicken Soup for the Soul then. I thought I would have someone to share my love for this book with. Moreover, after reading the 5th volume, I went on a mini craze of collecting a bunch of Chicken Soup for the Soul sets, but the fifth volume still remains my favorite to this day. As teenage friendships go, I hung out this friend less and less, but my dumb ass went on assuming that the book borrower would have the sense to return my book. However, I knew in my heart that she most likely lost it. I once thought about buying this book again and putting it back into that missing spot in my Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, but it’s not the same and I also want the reminder. NEVER lose a book you borrowed from someone especially a book with sentimental value. If you do, the least you can do is to buy them a new copy and at the very least you can own up to it and apologize.
Obviously, I still haven’t forgiven or forgotten that incident. This next incident happened when I was in middle school. I want to preface this by saying that manga books are expensive especially for a middle school student. I had to save up money to be able to buy them. The saving up and buying my precious manga books is what made this heart breaking. One of the few completed series I own is my all time favorite: HANA KIMI! I love it with my entire soul. Though it gets a bit draggy around volume 19, it was still a beautiful series which I adore and can read over and over. Plus, the live actions weren’t bad. Anyways, manga was becoming a thing at my school, and I was one of those rare kids spending almost all my money on them. Frankly, I have a pretty big collection now and most of them I bought as a teenager. I would lend them out to my friends, but clearly, I wasn’t careful enough. This one crazy girl had the audacity to pass off one of my “Hana Kimi” books to her classmate. When I got it back, the entire back cover was folded in half, leaving behind this terrible and huge scar. I had to choke back tears. Of course, both girls claimed it wasn’t them. In the end, there was nothing more I could do but move on and rant about it to everyone I knew. A few days later, I was rereading that particular volume again and found a stain inside. I felt like the abuse just never ends. My heart still aches when I run my fingers through the back cover of that volume. With that said, if you are going to carry someone’s book in a backpack or something, be careful not to not push it in with force and that it’s not going inside an overstuffed bag.
I didn’t think recounting these stories would leave me feeling so sad. I am actually shocked by this wave of melancholy that has taken over me. Honestly, a few incidents out of the multiple successful returns, is not too shabby. I still love sharing books I enjoy and think that books are meant to be read. These horror stories have not deterred me from lending people my books, but I hope that people borrowing books can be more careful and aware.
My last story isn’t a horror story. It’s just a little disappointing because of the what could have been. I let one of my speech and debate underclassman in high school borrow my copy of Fahrenheit 451. Shout-out: It is one of the few required readings in high school that I utterly adored. Anyways, this underclassman found out about a book signing at the neighboring city’s public library. He got the book signed by Ray Bradbury and wanted to keep it. Honestly, I wanted the book back, but I understood where he was coming from and didn’t ask for it back. Well, that’s that.
How do you feeling about lending and borrowing books? Do you have any horror stories to share?
Anyways, talking about “Hana Kimi” has reminded me. I was thinking about writing a manga suggestion list – would you be interested?