The 8 Emotional Stages Of Lending Someone A Book

by Sadie Trombetta

So you just finished an amazing book, and you need to share it with someone ASAP. You immediately get in touch with your fellow bibliophile BFF and tell her all about it, and you even offer your copy to her so she can experience the same joy you did — but there's a voice in the back of your head telling you not to. If you've ever lent out a title from your personal library, than you understand these complex emotions that go along with letting a friend borrow a book.

You're conflicted — on the one hand, you like your friend and want to share your new favorite book with them, because you can't wait to see how much they love it, too. But on the other hand, you don't want to part with your most prized possessions, no matter how many times you've read them or how many copies you have. You can't choose between your friend and your books, because if you're being completely honest with yourself, your books are your closest confidants. (And don't you dare say it's "just a book.")

As every real book lover knows, these are the eight emotional stages of lending someone a book — and they aren't pretty.

1. Wild Enthusiasm

Oh my god, you're going to love this book! I need you to read it right away so we can have endless conversations about it!

2. Impulsive Generosity

Here, take my copy, I already finished it. No really, I don't mind at all! Sharing is the best! I'm so generous!

3. Sudden Paranoia

Wait a second, how do I know you have the right intentions for my book? Now that I think about it actually, I don't even see you read that often — do you even know how to? Why can't you get it from the library? Were you banned for poor treatment and late return of books?

4. Unshakable Fear

Are you going to put it in your bag, that bag, with your cosmetics case and water bottle? Oh God, I bet you're going to dog-ear all the pages, aren't you? Are you going to read it in the bath and wrinkle the crisp, white pages? Are you going to read it on the train? Because you might lose it. Oh no, what if I never see my book again?

5. Sheer Panic


6. Utter Regret

Every time I look at my bookshelf, all I can see is the empty space where my dear book's spine used to be. I should have never given up the book up to begin with. If only I pretended I couldn't find it, then maybe this never would have happened.

7. Separation Anxiety

What are the chances my book is at the beach right now, getting water damage, or worse, getting hijacked by a gang of literate seagulls? What am I going to do if I don't get the book back, read a different one? Ugh.

8. Reluctant Acceptance

Well, I did already read it, and I bought the e-book version of it too. Really, it's OK, I can't wait to talk about it. No seriously! I'm fine.

*Immediately goes to the bookstore and picks up another copy.*

Images: Chiara Chemaschi/Flickr; Gihpy (9)