Things To Keep in Mind When You Borrow a Book
“Soooo,” I said, peering into my friend’s bag as he pulled out the book I had lent him almost six months ago, “What do you think?”
“It’s good,” he said, not even looking me in the eye.
“And what of the ending?”
“Errr,“ he thrust the book in my hands, and in a single breath, said “Actually, my phone is ringing, I’ll talk to you later, bye-bye.” And he dashed off. Forgetting that his phone was right there in his hand and it most certainly was not ringing. Either I was being trolled by my senses, or he totally just made an excuse to get away because he hadn’t read the book after pestering me to lend it, and then sitting on it for six forsaken months.
With a scrunched-up nose, I looked down at the book in my hands and utterly LOST MY SENSES.
The cover? FADED.
The spine? BROKEN.
The pages? YELLOWED.
Me? INTERNALLY SCREAMING.
Needless to say, we are not friends anymore (okay, don’t call this extreme because YOU and your bookish brain would’ve done the same, own it).
Now, I’m certain all of us have had our own terrible experiences with lending books. If you haven’t, then, well...please, Dear God, can you share your friends with me?
When someone lends a book to you, they are letting you see into their soul. They are letting you understand them on a different level. They are letting you have a tiny peek into who they are, how they think, what they like, and why they are the way they are. It’s like sharing music or two straws in a single glass of Cold Coffee.
So, when someone lends you a book, you must keep certain things in mind, must follow certain etiquettes, must remember the unwritten rules (well, technically now they’re going to be written...) of Borrowing Books.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you borrow a book:
1. Don’t Dog-Ear the pages
Humans are inventive, always looking for ways to make life easier and more convenient. This has caused countless creations to be brought into existence and need I remind you that BOOKMARKS ARE ONE SUCH CREATION. Use them. Don’t dog-ear the pages of the book. Don’t put random things between the pages, don’t fold the pages, just...don't. Us bookworms do not take this matter lightly. Ahem ahem.
2. Reading while eating or drinking: A Big NO-NO
I know we’re all great multitaskers here, but please for the love of God, use your multitasking skills elsewhere and NOT while reading a book you have borrowed. We don’t fancy being made aware of your dinner menu, not on the pages of our books. Or weird, blotchy coffee stains. I know we all love snacking while entertaining ourselves but maybe stick to snacks with movies, not with books. A borrowed book must be kept clean and free from food and water stains. They say there’s no point crying over spilt milk, but if that milk is spilt on our books, bookworms will definitely be crying. Endlessly.
- Don’t use pens or write anything in the book
A borrowed book is not your own personal canvas. Sure, it’s a canvas for you to paint with your Thoughts. Not with that new pink sharpie your little sister just used to display her impeccable art within the pages. You mustn’t write, underline, highlight, or mark anything in a book that you have borrowed. Some people find it alright to use pens in their books, but most people don’t. Even if they do, they probably wouldn’t want someone else doing it in their books as well. If you really feel the need to mark something, then maybe set aside a small notepad for that purpose. Or type it down in your phone!
- Turn the pages properly
Ah, yes. Turning the pages. There are many breeds of Page-Turners. Some aren’t civilized enough. Some people use the tip of their finger, like good citizens, whereas some just full-on fold the corners, and some lick their finger and use their...saliva for grip...you get the idea, don’t you? Well, a borrowed book means you need to turn the pages in a dignified manner. Be careful with the turning of pages, and make sure you aren’t damaging them in any way.
- Return the book on time
Everyone has their own pace of reading. Some psychos may finish a 500-page book within a day (raise your hand if you’re guilty, I am), some may take a week, while others may take more time. But that doesn’t mean you can keep sitting on a book that you have borrowed for DAYS ON END. If you find that you aren’t interested in the plot, or it’s not your cup of tea, or you aren’t finding the time to read it, just return it to the lender. You can always read it later when you intend to. Or if you have read the book, you must promptly return it because it’s not yours to take, ya know...
If you’ve lost the book, then be courteous enough to offer to buy a new one for the owner.
It’s not fun for the lender to keep waiting for the book to be returned, like a yearning lover endlessly waiting for her beloved to return home from the war. *Sniffle*
- Don’t lend it to someone else
If you’ve borrowed a book to read, you don’t automatically attain full custody of it, to do with as you please. You cannot further lend it, someone. You need to first ask the owner of the book if they are alright with it. And you better do that...if you value your life.
- Take good care of the book
Now, this should not come as a surprise, given the points mentioned above. Borrowing things is a pretty normal thing to do, between friends and acquaintances. But a book? Oh. You best believe we expect you to take care of it like it’s your own baby. When you borrow a book, you should definitely treat it with respect. Don’t damage it, don’t take it for granted. It should be kept in good condition and returned as such. Don’t lose the book, either.
All of these things must be remembered when you borrow a book from someone. Well, I’d say, they must also be kept in mind when reading books of your own! Or borrowing anything in general.
Most of all, just...don’t be like my friend. If you’ve borrowed a book, you must read it. Share your thoughts with the owner, because bonding over the same book is an unparalleled form of friendship. If I’ve suggested a book to you and let you borrow it from my very own collection, you’d best believe I expect you to read it and then have a full-blown, detailed, analytical discussion and debate on it. Okay, maybe that was a little exaggerated, but come on. Bookworms can relate, can’t they? And remember, when you let people borrow your books, make sure to write it down in a place that remains in sight, so that you can keep track of your beloved book!
Happy reading, fellas.
Author: Anukriti says, "We had a poem back in Ninth class, an excerpt from Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’, which said, “All the world’s a stage, and all men and women merely players.” So, here I am, another player, trying to perform my role as best as I can. Though, of course, armed with Books, a Pen, and the untamed terrain of the world’s imagination."