Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

My Book News & Advocate for the Writing Community ©

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – Book Borrowing Etiquette

July 7, 2020

brown book page

Photo by Wendy van Zyl on

Does the thought of lending a book fill you with dread or are you happy to share the joy of a book?

What has your experience been with lending books? I have suffered the lost of books but also the happy return of some too. It has enlightened me to whom I should lend to and who not! So what are the ‘rules’ for borrowing?

There are a few rules to lending a book. Please add any you can think of too.

Don’t eat messy foods while reading a book – yours or anyone else’s for that matter.

Don’t fold over the pages, use a bookmark.

person holding story book

Photo by samer daboul on

Don’t write in, underline, or highlight anything.

Don’t put the book face-down or break the spine.

Don’t take the book in the bath or to the pool.

person reading book on white bathtub

Photo by cottonbro on

Keep the book in a safe zones – away from children and pets.

Ensure all surfaces are clean before setting the book down on them.

If something does happen to the book, offer to replace it.

Ask permission before passing it on to another friend.

Don’t lose the dust jacket.

book stack books classic knowledge

Photo by Anthony on

Don’t borrow the book until you’re ready to read it. Don’t just put it on your TBR pile.

When in doubt, treat the book like a library book and give the book back in a timely manner. Set a date on your calendar to return it.

Ask the lender when they need the book back adhere to that date. If it’s taking a long time to read the book, check in with your friend and ask if you can have an extension.

Return the book in the same condition you received it.

It is a privilege to borrow a book so don’t abuse that favour.

Tell me your book lending and borrowing tales in the comments.




  1. Like Judith Williamson, I would have ordered a new book to replace the scratched loaner.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandfather on my mother’s side is actually been awarded a medal for Mathematics. When he’s around, I try to give him a book to read once in a while, because he usually just sits around watching TV. But he always folds the book in half like a worn out excercise book and just makes me scream inwardly. Other than that he’s cool. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a timely post for me! I have ordered, and just received a replacement book for a friend who kindly loaned me her copy for an upcoming book club meeting. Whenever I wasn’t reading the book I would dutifully put it into a plastic bag and store it safely from harms way. However, the one time I merely left the book on the counter overnight, my very naughty cat, Jack, managed to jump up and scratch the cover. The mark is tiny and probably would not have been noticed by my friend but I would forever know that I had returned a damaged book.

    Liked by 2 people

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