Anyway, today I wanted to talk to you guys about borrowing books and the BURDEN of borrowing them. And to clarify, I mean borrowing books from PEOPLE like your friends and not an institution like the library. Honestly, there shouldn't be any difference between the two but there is. Obviously when borrowing any book, you have a natural pressure to not lose it and not ruin it. But there's also varying levels of that pressure and with library books, it's a LOT less.
For starters, library books have usually been read by multiple other people before you (unless you're lucky and manage to get your hands on a BRAND NEW book) so they're probably already not in the best condition by the time you pick it up. Which is not to say that you can just go free willy with them (and I certainly don't want to give you the impression that I do) but in general, you won't have to face that horrifying moment of dropping a brand new book on the floor for the first time or cracking the spine for the first time or accidentally creasing a page for the first time. Because it's already been done by OTHERS!
Also, the hardcovers have protective plastic covers. Which I find EXTREMELY helpful because hardcovers are always so much harder to take care of than paperbacks. It gives me anxiety (more on that later). With the plastic covers though, there's that extra barrier where it's like, "Okay, I can breathe a little bit".
And finally, even if you do end up returning a book in horrible condition, NO ONE will know it was you! Or maybe the computers have a way of tracking you down. But at least you don't have to face anyone while you do your walk of shame. Just mope all the way up to the drop off box and make a run for it!
So you see what I mean with there being less pressure when borrowing library books? Really all you need to focus on is not losing it and not completely shredding it and destroying it.
And borrowing books from friends? Well that's a completely separate story...
See, while I'm pretty good with my books, I'm also not SUPER careful with them. I know some of you are really particular with your books but me? I don't really CONSCIOUSLY think to be really, really careful. Like I won't go out of my way to ruin it but I also won't go out of my way to preserve its newness... if that makes sense. So usually my books will end up with some bent edges and some smudges and that doesn't really bother me. I actually prefer it when my books look read. The worst part of a new book is having to "break in" the new book because it's so stiff when you're reading and just doesn't feel like COZY FAVOURITE BOOK.
And that is a problem when a friend lends you their book and it's in PERFECT CONDITION. Generally speaking, the pressure of borrowing a friend's book is already higher than that of borrowing a library book (as we have discussed) but when it's in perfect condition? YOU DON'T WANT TO BE THE ONE THAT RUINS IT.
And when it's signed and personalized? LITERALLY HAVING A HEART ATTACK.
Maybe you can surmise that that's the predicament I'm in right now...
I currently have Blue Lily, Lily Blue from my friend and guess what? IT IS SIGNED AND PERSONALIZED BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER. One of her favourite authors. So naturally I am freaking out because as we've already discussed, I AM NOT A PARTICULAR CAREFUL READER.
And it's also in perfect condition so there's that. Basically I really really really CANNOT ruin or lose this book at all. Because it's signed. I can't just get another copy because now it has SENTIMENTAL meaning.
I feel like I'm going INSANE over this book because I'm not used to being so careful with anything at all. I'm a naturally careless person. Ask my mom. Or dad. I lose everything, drop everything. I'm just not good at being so careful! And though I haven't done anything horrible horrible to it, I did accidentally drop a teeny bit of water on it and then freaked it and ended up rubbing some of the paper fibres off. Also there are some gray smudges on the freaking nice white cover that wasn't there before. And the ends are a little stubby now.
OH DEAR LORD. SOMEONE HELP ME.
What about you? Do you feel a burden when you borrow books? And do you get freaked out when you're borrowing a SIGNED book? Like this is too much responsibility for me, TAKE IT BACK. This is why I would not be able to be Prime Minister. Also the fact that I don't get politics at all and would just be horrible in every single other aspect but MOSTLY because I wouldn't be able to handle the responsibility. Anyway, leave me your thoughts in the comments!