Books I Refuse to Lend

Many readers love sharing their love of books. But many readers don’t love sharing their physical books, including me!

When I was younger, I made a form for my sisters to fill out before they borrowed a book from my shelves. I’m pretty sure it was harder to borrow a book from me than our local library.In the days before book sleeves, I’m pretty sure my dad wrapped up my paperback editions of The Hunger Games trilogy in a few grocery bags before putting them in his messenger bag. Even when my mom and sisters borrow books from me now, I make sure I take the dust jacket off hardcovers beforehand and for some books, make them promise not to take the book out of the house.

As someone who takes care of her books, I do admit that I rarely lend books over the of fear them getting damaged or lost. While I’ve landed out paperbacks before and they came to me more worn out, I haven’t had a particularly bad experience lending out a book- aka the cover is ripped, pages are missing, or worse, I never get it back. I’m definitely open to lending them out to my family and one of my close reader friends, but there are certain books that will never leave my hands (or my heart!).

Signed Books

I think many fellow readers would agree that lending out signed books are an absolutely no-no. As someone who has received more and more signed editions, as a result of book conventions and ordering special editions, I’m actually less hesitant to lend out signed books, specifically if the book doesn’t have any special meaning to me or if I didn’t absolutely love it. However, the following books are the signed editions that I refuse to lend.

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (& basically my other signed SJM books)- I got Queen of Shadows signed by Sarah J. Maas on her QoS book tour in 2015. This was back in the day when her events weren’t as limited and tickets weren’t as difficult to come by. This particular signing was a bit strange and took place at a Costco on a bad weather day. I think I got there 20 minutes beforehand and was one of the first people in line. Anyway, QoS is my favorite Throne of Glass book, hence why I won’t let that edition out of my sight. I also refuse to lend my other signed SJM books (Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, ACOTAR, and Catwoman:Soulstealer) and my ToG collector’s edition.


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell- Fangirl is one, if not my all-time fave, of my all-time favorite books, so I’m so happy I have two signed editions of two different special editions. I’ve met Rainbow Rowell twice and she signed each copy for me. I hold the indie edition especially close to my heart because its my favorite color (the light pink) out of the 3 special editions and Rainbow Rowell signed it for me the first time I met her.

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian- Again, another favorite of mine that is signed and don’t want out of my sight. While some readers love sharing their favorite books so others can also make said book a favorite, I wouldn’t want to lend a favorite in fear that it gets damaged and I wouldn’t necessarily want to be replacing editions of my faves.


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (paperback edition)- Another Rainbow Rowell book, another signed edition. I wouldn’t lend this edition not so much because it’s a favorite, but more so because paperbacks have the tendency to get damaged even with the most care. I also just love the pullout map in the paperback edition too much to temporarily let it go.


Save the Date by Morgan Matson- I hold my copy of Save the Date close to my hear because it’s another Morgan Matson book that I utterly loved. I was also sent this finished copy by the publisher for a blog tour. Receiving this book was one of those blogger movements that made me feel so good, getting a book that I was so anticipating and ready to love.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor- Another paperback with a completely gorgeous cover that would make me live in fear over it getting damaged in the lending process.

More Books

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuistion- Red, White and Royal Blue is the most recent example where I’ve told my best friend that she had to read the book, but didn’t offer my own ARC for her to borrow. While some readers don’t see the value of ARCs after the finished book has been published, I like keeping ARCs that I especially loved. RWRB certainly falls in that category!

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (UK paperback)- Although some UK editions aren’t so hard to get here in the US, they are definitely harder to replace than US editions here. I also just love Starry Eyes too much as a story to let it leave my shelves for too long.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares- I actually would not lend all 5 books in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. I’ve mentioned it before on the blog, but this series means a lot to me because it was one of my first ever YA reads. I remember collecting my editions from library book sales and Barnes and Noble trips with my mom, so I also love the memories associated with getting my copies.


What books do you refuse to lend? How do you feel about book lending? Share in the comments!

9 thoughts on “Books I Refuse to Lend

  1. I think it goes without saying that signed copies are off-limits for lending! My husband read my signed copy of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing because I guess he thought it was in the house so it was fair game, and every time I saw him reading it I was just on pins and needles. I have also learned my lesson about lending books I want back. I lent my mom Next Year in Havana, and even though I made it clear that I would like her to bring it back next time she visits since she’s done, no book. I miss the pretty colors and the gorgeous dress on the front. 😦 Now I only lend books that I’m okay if they don’t come back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally understand! I don’t let anyone borrow my books, at all! 😂 Unless they really need a particular one. But all of my special edition and signed books are off limits! I lent one of my first Harry Potter books to a friend once, and she gave it back with scratches and marks all over… so I’m never doing that again!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There was a time I wouldn’t lend any of my books out, but then when I was still at my parents house the next door neighbor’s little girl got into reading and she wanted to borrow my Harry Potter books. Her mom assured me she wouldn’t let her take them out of the house cause some of the pages were falling apart. (I have the ebooks for this reason.)

    I let her borrow them one by one then she became the only person to be allowed to borrow my books because she lived next door and always returned them the same day or at the end of the week/weekend. (Usually weekend, she was a fast reader.) The little girl who is now 12 was devastated when I moved three hours away two years ago cause my books weren’t accessible anymore. I’m glad I played a part in her reading journey. She does have a library card and Kindle unlimited now. She was the ONLY person I trusted because I have lost books due to other people borrowing them. OH! I forgot to mention that I also gave her my Kindle Voyage when I updated an e-reader at one point and she STILL reads on that thing almost a year later.

    Liked by 1 person

      • No problem! I’ve had my fair share of bad lending stories like other readers too. That’s why I usually lend them. Earlier this year I had a confrontation with my downstairs neighbor and five hours later she asked me to borrow a book and I was like…. ok…. only because I wanted her to go and it was one I had read a million times.

        I was surprised I actually got it back a week later. She’s not here anymore. (She didn’t like all my footsteps, the apartment life, etc. She had a lot to say.)

        I let a friend from third grade borrow a book and I never got it back… then in sixth grade…then a friend took one of my Harry Potter covers when I was sleeping and claimed that I lost it somehow.

        (I don’t believe that one still cause I know how I am with books. She lost hers and switched on me.)

        But yeah the neighbor at my parents house story definitely made up for all that.


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