Just trying to make sense of things...

I Don’t Borrow Books to People

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 23:06 by jordan.terrell

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!

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Comments (4) -

July 29. 2009 10:33

Barnabas Howard

Good thoughts.

I would agree that I don't often loan out my reference books, and to a lesser degree nonfiction in general.

Fiction books I do loan out however. My enjoyment of those books is greatly increased when I can discuss them with other people. I would be that this is mostly what Rocky was talking about. But perhaps, as you suggest, this is actually a gift. I never loan out a book with any expectation of getting it back. If I do happen to get it back, it is just an opportunity to loan/give it out again.

The request to borrow the Kindle... I hope they were joking.

Barnabas Howard

July 30. 2009 10:38

Jordan Terrell

Barnabas - I'm quite sure they were serious about borrowing my Kindle.  Maybe feasible when I've had it for a while, but right now it's my new toy/tool, so I'm not going to part with it right now!

- Jordan

Jordan Terrell

August 3. 2009 14:35

Bryan Gertonson

It isn't possible to "borrow" something to someone else, only loan it. This is one of my biggest pet peeves ever, and you just used it in a whole blog post... good job ;)

But I understand where you are coming from. Nothing worse than a book full of dog-eared pages.

Bryan Gertonson

August 4. 2009 16:13

Jordan Terrell

Bryan - Albeit a bit pedantic, you are correct.  I stand corrected. Smile

Jordan Terrell

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