One of the things which came up during the How Clean Is Your Book? debate (sorry, that will probably mean nothing to non-UK visitors) was a question which links into the to-scrawl-or-not-to-scrawl dilemma. Well, not really a dilemma - don't think I've encountered anyone who was indecisive or unsure on this point - whereas the subsidiary question provokes, I would imagine, rather less black-and-white reactions.
It must be the librarian in me - I love lending and borrowing books. Love it. Must admit, when I borrow books I tend to end up buying them anyway, since I like to have copies of books I've read - partly, to go full circle, because I can then lend them to other people. The main argument against lending books, of course, is that they somehow don't find their way back - I must have been fortunate in the people I chose, because I've never had that problem. Each of my books is like a homing pigeon... yes, there is one person who's had a pile of my books for four years, but I have had a pile of her books for the same length of time, and I know the piles will be exchanged in good time. Something about borrowing a book makes it even more special than following up a recommendation (though that is also great) - a real connection between reading friends.Exceptions and Problems...
1) I don't lend Miss Hargreaves... she might be the only one. I'd be distraught if she went missing. While I'm on her, think there's a UK copy on ebay at the moment... Just checked, there are actually two. Go to it!
2) Isn't it awkward when you lend to someone who isn't as keen as they sound, and the weeks go by, and you know they're never going to actually read it... how does one ask for it back politely? I tend to let book-love go about etiquette, and just ask for it back...3) And in reverse - when someone presses something on you. You quite like it, but don't want to be trapped in a spiral of reading things by that author until your friend's collection has run out. "I enjoyed it - will let you know if I'd like to borrow more, thanks" never sounds convincing, does it?
4) Please don't lie to me. If you didn't notice that about thirty pages are accidentally reprinted, then you didn't read it... this happened to me once...
Despite these issues, I love lending and borrowing! By post, in person, all good.