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Borrowing Beware | How To Find (Great) Indie Books

Borrowing Beware | How To Find (Great) Indie Books

Don’t Lend It! Give It!

I want to warn everyone that this blog will contain references to violence against books in ways that may make some of you uncomfortable. Angry. Nails on chalkboard, how could you do that to such a precious entity that is a book!?!

Well, ladies and gentlemen. That offender is me and my answer is…

If the darn book would actually let me crawl into its pages prior to me performing torturous handling, then it could keep its pristine spine and unwrinkled/folded/rumpled pages.

Here was my ritual when I got a new book.

And back in the day I really only read mass market paperbacks – unless I just could not wait to read the next book in the series and I was ok eating rice and beans for a week and bought the hardback on release day. (Harry Potter 5, 6 and 7 – I am looking at you. And waiting in line with a bunch of dressed-up children, but mostly adults, Potter geeks was a hoot!)

So the register dings, the receipt slips into the tiny plastic bag that barely fit the book, and you probably would have saved more money on labor for the extra time taken to get the book slipped perfectly into that green (why green?) plastic tissue paper-thin pocket.

Book in hand – I immediately slide it out of the labor-intensive bag, toss the bag in the bin as I exit the store, and to step to the side.

In a private alcove just out of the bookstore, my thumb feathers the pages as the whiff of paper pulp and new ink warm from the fluorescent lights breaks through the wet-pavement breeze from an early evening rain. I caress the book between my palms. Duel thumbs finding purchase on the page edges. I part the book as if I was already halfway through the adventure and I…

(Brace yourself.)

(Gird your loins.)

(Get ready to swoon.)

(Wow, there hasn’t been a swooning reference in a while. I’ve been slacking.)

And I…pulled the pages apart, far past the comfortable gutter, the paper flattening but still holding the arc.

Until in the speed and force of my quick backward fold the spine snaps…


…and the book is now prepped for a comfortable, one-handed page-turning extravaganza.

"Sure, totally mistreat and destroy my book and give it back – that works great for me since obviously I wore gloves when reading this pristine copy four times and kept it in a hermetically sealed vault next to a first edition of Moby Dick and lost sections of the Bible"

Do Unto Others

If you haven’t left my blog in disgust at such mistreatment, then let us care on.

I am quite aware and up front about my book treatment. And especially so when people are want to lend me a book.

I first tell them no, I’ll read it (but of course only if I am actually interested) and I’ll buy it myself.

Also, if I like it, there is an energy of having read that particular copy. I want that energy and that copy on my shelf.

If they insist then they can give me the book, no lending.

And sometimes that puts them out. Which is strange to me since I just said I would buy it.

Also, I explain my book treatment in full…and if they are still insistent on just a lend (sure, totally mistreat and destroy my book and give it back – that works great for me since obviously I wore gloves when reading this pristine copy four times and kept it in a hermetically sealed vault next to a first edition of Moby Dick and lost sections of the Bible). I note the author name and extricate myself from the situation.

Because I did accept a lend even after I explained my torturous nature of the novel variety, and when I gave the book back, my friend was shocked. Appalled even. They hadn’t believed me.

Or wanted to believe the truth.

It was actually a wedge. And we drifted apart.

I am not kidding at all.

This Is Some Serious SH—Stuff

So look, I am telling you this as a warning, a slightly humorous dose of reality.

Book lending can be a dangerous thing.

And I haven’t even touched on the most obvious lending issue: never giving it back.

I don’t want that stress.

I read through books so fast, especially when I was in my 20s, that I couldn’t keep track of what. If I liked a new book – usually within a few chapters – I was haunting used bookstores for all of the series to have on hand so there was no consumption lull, with the lent book snug in my purse bumping rhythmically against my hip as I finger tapped the alphabet down book-stuffed isles.

Ahhh, the olden days.

Yore and dinosaur and cassette tape times.

I couldn’t keep track. And it was stressful as I didn’t want to be that person that never gave it back.

So I never took it.

Be smart. Stay strong. Save a life.

Buy your own darn book.

Who’s Your Dealer?

So when you do start really talking to people and get book recommendations, don’t take a lend unless with extreme caution.

But who are we getting all these dangerous book-lend offers from?

Fantastic question and I can’t wait to dive down into it next week.

Where we talk your number one resource for acquiring new books to read that could potentially be your next favorite book!

Wishing you so much joy.

Stephanie Writt

Writer, instructor, graphic artist and all around lovely soul, with a generous sense of humor  (yes, I am totally writing this myself), takes delight in sharing her geeky knowledge and ridiculous joy in reading, writing and business. As the current Director of Operation at WMG Publishing Inc., she has the privilege and mischievous pleasure in writing this blog every week. 

Two Bookstore Stories To Enjoy! (And My Destructo Hands Would Have To Be Left At The Door.)

Cat Nap by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Triwell doesn’t adopt strays. He feels like a stray himself, a man who has lost everything even though he has a house and an antiquarian bookstore in Seavy Village on the Oregon Coast.

But the cat adopted him. And she proves a mystery. A mystery who lives with him. A mystery he will solve one summer in a surprising—and deadly—way.

A Home for the Books: A Bryant Street Story by Dean Wesley Smith

Gerald Earnst loves old books. He loves the smell of them, the feel of the leather, the smoothness of the dust jackets.

He and his wife Bettie met in a bookstore, bonded over old books, and filled their house on Bryant Street with wonderful books.

Then after Bettie died, Gerald didn’t stop as only someone living on Bryant Street could do.

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