That might sound like an incredibly random and selfish statement, but let me expand on this thought:
I don’t borrow books to people, but I will give them away as a gift.
Telling you this was prompted by a review of the Kindle 2 by Rockford Lhotka. Rocky basically said one thing he doesn’t like about the Kindle is the inability to borrow books to other people – something that is easy to do with a real book.
This doesn’t bother me at all. Rarely do I borrow books to other people, and this is because I’m very particular about how my books are treated. For instance, I try not to eat or drink around them in a way that might risk wreaking them. I also refuse to write on my books. I’ve seen people borrow books from someone they know and then write their own notes in the margin. In my opinion that is a just a little rude.
The other reason I don’t borrow my books out is because I tend to buy books that have longer term value. Generally I won’t buy a book about a new technology stack that will be here and gone inside of a year. I did, however, say “generally” – not never.
I do have a double standard though – I will borrow your book if you let me. I will treat it will respect and care, and I’ll be sure to set expectations as to when I plan on returning it.
So for those who know and interact with me in real life, don’t take it personal. However, I might gift a book to you if I’m done with it, or I think you really should read it.
One more thing – someone recently asked if they could borrow my Kindle. Uhhh… Not going to happen!