Booking through Thursday wants to know: Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend?(Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?) And, DO you return books you borrow?
Most of my reading comes from libraries, either public or university: this blog originated from a series of posts detailing my weekly trips to the library, whence the name. I borrowed the majority of the Timeline-191 and parts of the WorldWar series by Harry Turtledove from the acquaintance to encouraged me to read them, but beyond this I have borrowed little from friends: The Moscow Option, Mere Christianity, and The Compleat Gentleman are the only three examples that come to mind, and I did not enjoy the latter two because the acquaintances wanted to know immediately how I liked the books. I like to mull things over, and — well, I didn’t enjoy either book, and being diplomatic but honest is difficult.
Back in middle school I became interested in the Animorphs series (in which middle-school kids engage in guerilla warfare using the ability to morph into animals), but my parents forbade me from reading them. Naturally I read them anyway, and devised a clever (so I thought) way to buy the books without my parents being privy: when we entered a shopping center, I left one door of our car unlocked, bought the books I wanted, hid them inside the car, locked the door, and then infiltrated the store once more to browse as normal. I couldn’t do this for every book in the series so I started a borrowing/lending group among my friends, and in that way I was able to stay caught up. (I still have a journal from that period detailing which books I currently had lent out, the name of the persons who had them, and the books I was currently borrowing and from whom.
I have only lent two books in the last couple of years: Anton Myrer’s Once an Eagle to the acquaintance who let me borrow his dozen Turtledove books, and Marx in Soho by Howard Zinn, to an overworked sociology professor I’m fond of. I still haven’t gotten that one back after a year, but I consider it a gift to him by now. Goodness knows he’s worth it, considering the lectures, book discussions, and other conversations with him I’ve enjoyed and learned from these past years. Besides, he’s a Marxist and I figure reminding him about the book over and over again will earn me a wry joke about property.