10 Commandments of Book Borrowing


By Lindsay Buroker

It's no secret. Those of us who are passionate about reading are passionate about our reading-related belongings, more specifically, our books. I like to share good books with my friends, but occasionally these books have been returned to me in less than satisfactory condition. This has prompted me to put together a short list of rules, commandments if you will. I now tuck a copy of the list inside any books I loan out. A tad obsessive? Or a good precaution? You decide.

1. Thou shalt not mash the book into a backpack, book bag, purse, or other storage area where it is likely to be crumpled, crushed, maimed, or otherwise mutilated in any way.

2. Thou shalt not loan the book to anyone else, especially those with dirty hands.

3. Thou shalt not eat while reading the book (the chocolate smooshed in the crack gave you away last time).

4. Thou shalt not stuff the book under a wobbly table leg to fix the table.

5. Thou shalt not use the book as a coaster.

6. Thou shalt not keep the book for more than a month lest I start charging late fees (and I'm not talking about the library's $0.05 a day late fee--we're talking Blockbuster here, baby).

7. Thou shalt not leave anything between the pages of the book besides money.

8. Thou shalt not write in the book.

9. Thou shalt not leave the book where it can be rained on, snowed on, or sunned on (the latter being identifiable by the pages falling out of the melty glue faster than leaves from an autumm tree).

10. Thou shalt not let your pet chew, nibble, or shed on the book.

Feel free to print this list to include with the books you loan out, too. We're not obsessive. Well, we're not. Really.

Lindsay Buroker is a veteran of the US Army and a student at the University of Washington. She writes whenever she has time and gets twitchy if she isn't working on atleast three projects at once.