I have some beautiful books on my shelves. I have pristine *signed* copies of Shiver, Lament and Ballad. As well as Beautiful Creatures, Shadow Hills, The Dark Divine, I Heart You, You Haunt Me and many many others. Many are signed to me and to me are priceless. Like art. So the question is, do I dare let them out of my house? Into the folds of another who may not worship them as I do? Do I take the risk? OR do I let them sit on my shelf and stare at them lovingly each and every day but never get to share them others? Never get the satisfaction when they hand it back saying, that book was amazing!
I’ll be honest, it is torture for me parting with my lovely’s. But the joy of sharing my books is so much more rewarding that taking the chance is worth it. I have a few I don’t hesitate to share my treasures with and they are my sister in law that lives nearby, she truly understands how precious they are to me and she cares for them as if they are her own babies. I also don’t hesitate to share with my mom and my youngest sister, who doesn’t have any children yet. But when it comes to sharing with some of my sister in laws that live far away the hesitation comes in. I *really* want them to read the books I’m raving about, and I know they can’t get them from the teeny tiny local library, so is it worth taking the chance on them? Well, I recently loaned out The Body Finder, a gorgeous, signed to me book. I chose this one because Kimberly Derting lives in the NW. I will see her again and if I have to I can get another. So I loaned her, for the first time, one of my actual treasured books. Afterwords my mom showed me some of the books she’s loaned to her. NOT pristine. Horror filled me. My heart stopped. I felt like I was going to throw up. Oh what did I do?! Well, I texted her and was clear in my text that I treasure that book as it was signed to me by the author. She replied she would. I waited a week. Then two weeks. Finally I called my mom to see if she had given it back to her (they live in SD, I live in WA) and she said no. I waited longer. And longer. Finally my mom called and said she got it back and it was in pristine condition! And oh, I could breath easy again. But that set off some serious thinking. I loan out my books to my local friends but so far it’s my non-signed books. Ones that I can easily buy new ones of. Was I ready to loan out my precious signed copies? Was I prepared to deal with it if something happened? Well, I’d had my test. When my sister in law sent me a text saying how much she LOVED The Body Finder it came to me how it was all worth it.
So next time I pass another bag of books off to my dear friend Autumn she will get the opportunity to read one of my very most cherished treasures. I’m not yet sure of which book it shall be, but perhaps Shiver since it’s a book most everyone loves and I feel badly that she’s missed out for this long.
I also must point out that I have some very very dear friends online that I wouldn’t (and don’t) hesitate to loan my books to. And they do the same for me! But they are book people. They understand how much I love them. And I was actually introduced to this world of YA by an internet friend sending me her YA books. So loaning out books is a great opener of doors. My friend Autumn was never a reader until she was introduced to YA, now she reads faster then I do!
So what do you do? Do you dare loan out your treasures?
NOTE: This post was inspired by Lisa Schroeder when she tweeted me back after I loaned out The Hunger Games and Catching Fire to my sister in law. She really made me feel good, because I know my goal in life (one of them anyway) is to share my wonder of books, and the books I love with others. I often tell Lisa about the people I’ve loaned her books to, and how much they loved them. Her tweet said this:
“You are like the best sharer of books that I know. I love it! You’re like a little book angel. :)”
A book angel. Now I think that is the highest compliment someone has ever paid me. Thank you Lisa!