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As many of you can see, I've been a pretty terrible blogger lately! What can I say...Life.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Discussion Topic: My Problem with Borrowed Books

"Great collections of books are subject to certain accidents besides the damp, the worms, and the rats; one not less common is that of the borrowers, not to say a word of the purloiners." Issac D'Israeli

Okay, I have this problem (or perhaps it can better be described as a disease) and I am wondering if anyone has experienced this same thing…

I cannot read a book unless I own it!

I don’t know how many times a friend has shoved a book in my hands and said I have to read it, or a teacher has handed out the next book we are to read for class, or I just got a new library card capable of making thousands of books readily available and at my fingertips and I just haven’t been able to get past the first page! I’m broken or something. Some wires have been crossed in my brain that don’t allow borrowed books to compute.

Please, tell me I am not the only one!!!

I feel bad because a few months ago a friend let me borrow a whole series of books I wanted to read and instead of reading them I held them on my shelf for a little over three weeks and then returned the books, untouched, while I raved about how fabulous they were. It’s terrible! Then, sad enough, I went out and paid a pretty penny for the exact books she lent me weeks ago and read them and enjoyed them with no problem.

Also, The first thing I asked my grandma when she gave me "Poison Study" by Maria V. Snyder (which I loved and often compare to my own version of crack cocaine) was "Can I keep it?" because I knew that if it wasn't mine, I wouldn't be able to read it!

That's not to say that the books can't be used. I have scowered used books stores for enticing reads and nearly bought out the Petoskey Used Book store of Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series. I just have to be able to buy and own them or be given them for keepsies.

Again, I beg, am I the only one???


  1. I think maybe it's a subconscious (or maybe you're aware of it) belief that since it's given to you, you'll inevitably have to return it and you may not want to part with it or figure there's no point or the thought of a time limit is too constricting. While this may not necessarily be a bad thing, it's certainly not the most frugal thing to have borrowed a book, not read it, gone out to purchase it, and then hate it.

    This doesn't really offer a solution, but at least it's something to discuss.

  2. I can read a book in any and all states, as long as all the pages are present and correct - I've been caught negatively in that way before now - ARRGH!. (Didn't you ever use the library?) But if its intact and readable I'll read it. Many times I've read my holiday reads too quickly and been on the beach book-less - Hell on earth I'm sure you'll agree (this will never happen again however as I own a kindle - my new love) - so I've found the 'Used books' shelf and dived in as if it were Aladdin's Cave or Pandora's Box, grasping hold of my new treasure. But of course it isn't new really, only to me. I become eager to see pencil notes or folded corners and make up in my mind who might have read it before and whether they felt the same way about the characters as I did. But then I was raised on second hand clothes and toys for the most part so I guess I'm used to owning what's already been owned. I see what you mean about wanting to keep them as your own after reading them, but i find if that happens I buy the new copy to keep if I needed to. It's no problem giving it back then.

    BTW - I'm finally getting around to putting all the blogs I'm following onto my Blogger profile. I thought it did it for you or something, but no. So if you've not seen your blog there yet, it's not an ovrsight, its a learning curve ;) I also hope to actually do more 'following' blogs and less designing my blog, soon. It's a full time job this blogging lark - I do enjoy it though. ;)

  3. Oh, yes, I agree. There is a pride and repose in a good bookshelf or classic reads. I have yet to get a Kindle and extend myself into the digital realm there. However, my wife is getting one for Christmas. It may be only a matter of time before hard copy books become obsolete like CD's?

  4. Perhaps it is the unsaid expectation of having to like the book being borrowed, and not the eerie feeling you get about reading a borrowed book? Generally, people let others borrow their books because they have an outlet(hopefully)to connect with you through a story they can share with you.

    It becomes unsettling when you read three pages of the book and decide a trip to the sun would be far more exciting. Having to give a borrowed book back to someone, especially a friend, and also tell them how bad it sucked just adds to the overall anxiety of it.

    An example of this is my love affair with A Confederacy of Dunces, which is brilliant and untouchable, yet I suggest others to check it out or read a blurb or two before buying it. It becomes a cerebral implant that nags, until the person looks it up and then finds how perfect a suggestion it was.

    I rant no more.

  5. Matt...the tme limit constrictions do bug my, but I know I can finish a book in 3 days if I really wanted to. Perhaps it would turn into one of those books that took me longer and then I would feel guilty about having the book for so long. I know I get paranoid when someone has has a book of mine for months.

    ShahW...It's lovely to have you back over here. I always love to hear what you have to say. BOOKLESS AT THE BEACH!!! It's almost a sin! The beach is honestly where i get most of my reading done in the summer. (it does help though that there are at least 4 to 5 beaches within 4 miles of my house.) I too have looked into a kindle, but I love the feel of a book and being able to jot down notes and dogtag pages. (of cousre, I am the ONLY one who is allowed to do that to my books. lol.)

    Paul C...Nice to have you here. Your blog has had some great discussions lately what with steamed veggies and online writing communities for teens so I am very happy to have a conversation with you here! I agree that there is a pride when it comes to my books. That really is the perfect word. (Obsession would be another good word.) I take pride in my collection and people always marvel at my book case, like they have never seen one outside of a library. :) Oh, I do hope that books do not disappear! I'll destroy every digital reader device before they do!

    Atypical Scott...You too have had some great discussions on you blog. More on the controversial side, but it's a refreshing change to see someone really getting in there and ripping some topics apart. i commend you for that. And, thank you for coming over her too. I agree that when people are particularly exstatic about a boook, it scares me to read it because I know they expect me to love it just as much. (Even though I usually have very different reading tastes than them and they know it!) I'm not afraid to tell them that I'm not interested though. I tell them nicely that it's just not my thing or it's usually not my thing, but I will go to the bookstore and read a few pages. That usually works. Of course, I'm ruthless when suggesting books to others so it may be a little unfair of me. :)

    Thanks for the great discussions everyone and check back soon!

  6. Hi There! I am your newest follower from the blog hop. Lovely blog!! You can find me at www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com
    take a peek at my giveawys when you stop by. I currently have 7 going on and everything is handmade and GORGEOUS:) HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

  7. I'm here via "for the love of blogs" and I am really intrigued with your blog. I have loved to write my entire life- truly not kidding. I've been told by oodles (technical term)of people that I should write a book. But always him-haw around the idea. I can't wait to pick your brain, search your blog and learn MORE!!!

  8. Hanna...Thanks for following. I hope you enjoy my blog and can find the time to check our more and join the discussion. I will certainly drop by your blog and look at things as well.

    Crystal...Welcome! I love it when people who are interested in writing find me and vice versa. I can't wait to talk about your ideas. Feel free to share anytime. There are plenty of people here who love to join in on the discussions, however random. Hopefully, you'll find some good inspiration and encouragement here.

  9. Well I can't say for a certainty that you're the only one, personally I'll read anything that isn't nailed down, sealed shut (sometimes even then) in someone else's hand (that too from time to time), or likewise unavailable. :)

    I've been harping on the hubs to go to the library and I think he might feel somewhat like you, but his book addiction has been outta control since day one. I don't move furniture anymore because I hate moving the storage boxes of book underneath everything. They're HEAVY! lol

    Oh and you up for being my guest blogger on Day One of my little experiment? :) You can do both blogs if you want or just one, totally up to you, but I'm excited! I think it's gonna be fun!

  10. Yeah, I know that feeling. Rearranging my room is a near impossibility now because there are books everywhere. Plus, in order to move my bookshelf, I have to take all the boooks off. I don't mind organizing them (it's kind of relaxing) but moving them sucks!

    Also, I am so into guest blogging for you. I can do both blogs for the first day. You'll just have to tell me what to do to get it up on your blog, but I'll think of something really fun to write, unless you already have an idea of what you would like me to write. Either way is fine with me!

  11. Here from the bloghop.
    I follow you on GFC. I'd love for you to follow me back
    Tiffypoot @ (aol.com)

  12. Nice to meet you Tiffany. Thanks for following. I'll come check out your link.

  13. I have the same thing Aubrie, but it's more of a matter of preference than an absolute rule. I rarely read books that are lent to me, or suggested to me. I'm not sure why that is.

  14. Patrick...I always like to be able to pick my own books. I probably enjoy finding books more than reading them at times. There's a real thrill to it. But if someone chooses a book for me, they have stolen the adventure of finding it myself perhaps. Would you agree with that?

  15. What do you think would appeal to me, based on what you've seen of my writing?

    Btw, "exstatic" should be spelled "ecstatic."

  16. You are not the only one. I gave up on libraries for that very reason years ago. I understand it completely.

  17. Matt...What do you mean? You want me to choose a book for you?

    Dave...Thanks. It's good to know I'm not the only "imparactical" reader.

  18. Yeah, some books for consideration. I want to know if anyone writes like I do.

  19. Absolutely Aubrie... and the older or more obscure the book is, the more exciting the find. My e-books reader especially is populated with dozens of esoteric and unusual books, most written at least a century ago. I have everything from ancient Irish folklore, to psychological studies of the effects of prison internment on inmates written in the early 20th century. New bookstores are where I go to use the internet and drink coffee, used bookstores are where I go to buy books (when I can afford them.) :-)

  20. Matt...I'm not sure if I could pinpoint anyone who writes like you do. I think everyone writed differently. However, I feel that you would really enjoy the Oh-So-British humor in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    I honestly feel like I have a type when it comes to reading. A lot of Victorian Literature, followed by some supernatural romance, followed by some action oriented scifi, and to top it all off (just so I'm rounded) some historical fiction. Not everyone's tastes match that type, but do you enjoy reading anything in those genres?

    Patrick...Nice. I just got ebooks on my iphone. something like 25,000 classics for free and then just $3.99 for the audio book collection. I read a lot of Victorian literature and this thing has got every Victorian book I could nae off the top of my head. EVERY Jane Austen, EVERY George Eliot, EVERY Charles Dickens, Bronte Sisters, Leo Tolstoy, Elizabeth Glaskell, Thomas Hardy! It also has all of Shakespeare, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Voltaire, Plato, Robert Frost, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twaine, Jonathan Swift! It's amazing!!!

    The unfortunate thing is that it is exceedingly difficult to read a book off of your phone. So, I still live by my paperbacks and hardcovers. I love going to Borders to scope things out (drink coffee). Then, I usually buy off of Amazon where everything is at least $5 cheaper. I do love a good used book store though. It just means I need to spend more time digging, but I love digging. :)

  21. I enjoyed the movie, so maybe I would appreciate the series.

    The middle two sound appealing (supernatural romance and sci-fi).

  22. The series is way better than the movie!!! Well, at least the first 2 books. Aftern that they get really weird.

    If you like paranormal romance and scifi, then you might really like The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins or The Maze Runner by James Dashner, or The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.

  23. Hi, I like your blog, and hope to see you on mine. I'm your newest followers now. :)

  24. Yeah! New followers are awesome. I'll be sure to stop by your blog soon.

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