good manners when borrowing books

Philippines
August 24, 2007 1:05am CST
Someone recently returned a couple of books to me and to my chagrin, the books weren't exactly in good shape. The cover was a little bit grimy around the edges and there were a lot of folds or dog-ears on the pages. Now I'm pretty obsessed with how I take care of my books and magazines and as much as possible, I try to maintain their "just bought" look, so I was quite dismayed to see my books in such a state. I couldn't, of course, tell my friend what I thought of what she did to my books. For some reason, I don't think she'll see what big deal was over some folded pages. But what do you think? Isn't it good manners to return things the way you borrowed them? Also, when you read a book, do you fold pages or do you use a bookmark?
8 people like this
19 responses
@luvcatzzz (208)
• United States
24 Aug 07
don't blame you a bit. that's why i don't borrow books...i'm hell on wheels when it comes to books. and yes, i fold the page down. i can't keep a bookmark in a book to save my life. isn't that nuts? :-D and if i don't hide the book, my cats will chew on them... i mean, i admit it, i'm hell on wheels with books. so i never ever borrow them. if it ain't mine, then i don't need it. i know that when i borrow anything from someone, i do take very good exceptional care of it because i know that i would want them to do the same. so i don't blame you one bit. and if i loan someone something, i want it returned in good shape, that's just good manners. i do have three books, hardbacks, that were signed and given to me by an attorney friend who's also a writer... and one of his books was made into a movie! how cool is that! i'm not touching those books, they've been put up. i'll read those books, but i'll buy the paperback and then it won't matter, but knowing me and books, those three are special and no one is touching 'em! so... that's why i don't borrow a book from anyone! haha!
3 people like this
• Philippines
24 Aug 07
Hi luvcatzzz! It's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels that way about books and things in general. I rarely borrow books myself, but when I do, I usually finish it as soon as I can and return it right after.
2 people like this
@valmiki9 (1171)
• India
24 Aug 07
I love books and they are my personal things .I never lend them to any one else because they would not give the same Loving care which I give to my books.
2 people like this
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
24 Aug 07
I admit, I would have been upset too!! I cherish my books and want them to look nice, new as well =) I can't imagine folding down the pages.uugghhh...I cringe just thinking about it =) I just wouldn't let that friend borrow any more books.
2 people like this
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
24 Aug 07
at least you got them back, i have lent out vidoes and books and they are never to be seen again! i tend to generally borrow from the library, hardly ever do i borrow from friends/families, but when i do, i am usually pretty careful.
2 people like this
• India
24 Aug 07
I totally dislike lending and borrowing books. Books are like assets to me, my only companion when I am alone and don’t feel like doing anything. It’s a pleasure just to read a book and fall asleep that way. I love all my books and take good care of them. I buy selectively, not to fill empty spaces in my cupboards or just to show how erudite I am. And I agree with you, I really dislike if someone borrows my books and then returns them in a bad shape. Such people have no manners, but more than them, the fault lies with their parents for not teaching them good manners. We should all teach our children how to take care of borrowed items and return them safely and in good condition. Some people even tear pages and camouflage it while returning. And the worst part is that you just can’t check in front of them and then later when you see the damage, you can’t tell them either coz they are either close friends or family members.
2 people like this
@muscare (3069)
• Australia
24 Aug 07
I wouldn't be lending my books to that friend again, she obviously doesn't have the same respect for books that you do. I always try to keep my books in best possible condition, that includes using a bookmark! The books which are in not as good condition on my bookshelves are the ones I've bought cheap at second hand shops, but the ones I bought new are in good condition!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Aug 07
I know. It's a little sad, not to mention ironic, to think that even though she's an avid reader, and has been since she was in grade school, that somehow didn't develop a respect for books... Anyway, yeah, I have the same situation on my bookshelves since I buy both new and used ones. But even with used books, I still try to prolong their lives by treating them like new books.
1 person likes this
@muscare (3069)
• Australia
25 Aug 07
Same here, just because the used books I buy aren't in perfect condition, doesn't mean I'm not going to treat them any different to the ones I bought new!
• Hong Kong
24 Aug 07
Oh that's bad! I basically wouldn't lend my books to everyone whom I know that won't take good care of my books! Like you, I try hard to maintain the "just bought" look of the books too! And I don't want anyone to ruin them for me. I use a bookmark when I read a book and I always try to be delicate! And I ever borrow books from someone, I'd make sure I haven't ruined anything. It's a good manner!
• Philippines
24 Aug 07
But that's the thing. my friend looked like someone who knew how to take care of books since she loved to read too, but apparently I was wrong.
2 people like this
• Hong Kong
24 Aug 07
Right! And hopefully you have educated her and she should know at least how to treat other people stuff right next time!
• United States
24 Aug 07
I like you like to keep my books looking as new as possible however i think this would be some thing that goes with time.. I usually pick up a book to start reading and dont put it down till im finished reading it... i have sever friends who take months some times years to finish a book. the longer they have it the worse shape it is when they get done ( why librarys dont allow but 2 weeks im most areas for check out) so if this friend had it for a week i would be angry and never let them have another book but if they had it a couple of months i would tell them what you expect the book to look like when its returned
• Philippines
24 Aug 07
I know! I mean books last longer if they're kept in good shape. And I know what you mean about how books look in the hands of people who take a long time to read them -- my friend had it for several months. When I got my books back and saw how they looked like, I told myself that if I wanted to remain friends with her, I would not let her borrow my books again. Ever.
1 person likes this
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
24 Aug 07
I hate to see folded down pages in a book and thus I always use a bookmark. I was always taught to return things in the same or BETTER shape than when they were borrowed. It is incredibly rude to treat a borrowed item in a destructive manner. I certainly would hesitate to loan anything to this person again!
1 person likes this
@horsesrule (1959)
• United States
24 Aug 07
I love my books and I won't loan them out, not even to my best friends. No one will take care of them like we would. I would cry [and I have] when I got books back from friends that were messed up. They never offered to buy me a new book either so, no more loaning out books. Same goes with DVD's and CD's too. Books just cost too much hard-earned money to loan them out.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Aug 07
I am a fanatic about my books. I never break the spine, I will not bend a page over. I don't highlight or underline or make notes (I'll keep a notebook next to me if I need to take notes). I always use a bookmark. Although a lot of my bookmarks are just paper from around the house, a receipt from the store or even that huge strip of paper they give you from the library that tells you what you checked out. If a friend of mine abused my books I know that I would tell them that I was upset about it. I've done it before. I'm so sorry that your friend did not respect your books. That's a shame.
• Philippines
24 Aug 07
LOL I can't believe other people do that too! I do the same thing with my bookmarks! They're not actually bookmarks most of the time. Sometimes I use discarded scratch cards or phone cards. Other times I use some piece of paper that's lying around. Anything thin that I can insert can become a bookmark.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Aug 07
You do that too! I have to be careful when I bring books back to the library because sometimes I use receipts from stores as bookmarks and I don't want to give those to the library. I've found other people's shopping lists, business cards and pieces of torn up envelopes in books that I've taken out of the library.
24 Aug 07
Okay, I've always wanted to put a note on my books that only the "worthy" can hold it. It takes discipline and a big amount of respect to the owner for one to be able to keep and return a book in good shape no matter how old the book is. Regardless if the book is your own or borrowed, I think we must have some sense of awareness that the author worked so hard to put words and ideas into it and that these pages came from trees that God created. A little care may help to preserve the books that maybe our children and our children's children may one day be able to enjoy it.
• Philippines
25 Aug 07
hehehe thanks girl!
@laowai (137)
• United States
25 Aug 07
I usually buy used books, so I don't really care what happens if someone borrows them. Any of my books that I really care about don't go into the hands of anyone other than immediate family. My parents and brother rarely ever touch my signed copies unless I recommend them.
@nana1944 (1367)
• United States
25 Aug 07
I think a person should try to return things yjr way they were when they were borrowed. As for books, a person should never fold or dog-ear the pages whether in a borrowed book or a book of their own. In case of no bookmarks being available how about an envelpe or piece of paper? That works.
• United States
25 Aug 07
As a book reader I could not agree with you more! I too am obsessed with the way my books are returned. As a matter of fact, I do not loan them out anymore as they are returned in disrepair. If they want the book, buy it! I only use bookmarks with my books - it breaks down the paper to bend the pages. sunnywaters
@Odille (55)
• China
25 Aug 07
I think it depends.If it is my love oneor it is important to me, I am not willing to lend it ,if it is not, I will give them when they want it. But honestly, I seldom borrow books from others, and when it happens, i would return it as quickly as possible. Some of my friends don't take good care of other's possessions. So take care of them by ourselves. I do use a bookmark, it is convenient.
@Daelin (683)
• Brazil
24 Aug 07
I hate what some people do to books. They fold the pages, mark the book with a pen. I don't like to lend my books just because of that.
@sid556 (30989)
• United States
24 Aug 07
you are right. I was brought up to respect other peoples property. Now i am a slob when I'm reading and eating. If I borrow a book, I am very very careful. If I damage it or lose it, I feel obligated to replace it. This goes with anything....not just books. I really try to avoid borrowing things for just this reason. As for folding pages on a book....NO...that's what bookmarks are for. If I don't have a book mark, there is always something that can be used...no need in folding pages or placing the book down opened which wears down the binding. I would hesitate to lend any more books to this friend.
• India
24 Aug 07
I think that is very nice suggestion from you side. I admire it. Thank you. Next time I will remember while book shopping.