I love borrowing a good book from someone.
Honestly, there’s nothing quite like getting a book that has been someone’s baby for a few weeks or months. Maybe even years. You’re lured into their world after days of them talking about it. Maybe it’s the premise, maybe it’s the characters, or maybe it’s the author’s writing style. Either way, this book was a thing of romance for them. It sat on their nightstand every night, or next to their favorite chair. It rode with them to work and was squished in between the seats. It may have been in purses or backpacks, had a drink spilled near it, been sat on, or had something sat on it. (We’re not talking about the Bible, here.) The pages are dog-eared and yellowed around the outside. Maybe it’s even got those distinct white streaks down the spine, where the printing has flaked off, indicative that it has been held with one hand, pages pinned back provocatively. It doesn’t quite bear the same scent as a new book–and we all love that smell–instead, it smells like coffee, Febreeze, and dryer sheets. It’s just…beautiful.
With each page turned, you’re given this intimate scope of someone’s life. You see the quips, niches, and passions of a person, and each person cares for a book differently. Personally, I’m rough on my books unless they’re borrowed. If I finish it quickly, I’ve usually done so by pinning back the pages and cooking, cleaning, working… all the usual stuff. My wife is a different kind of reader. She bundles up on the couch, or in the chair, usually has a blanket–unless it’s hot in the house–and just thumbs through the pages. She’s quiet, whereas I’m a bit louder. If I find something funny, I’m open and out there with it. She, on the other hand, may smile and that’s all. She’s also a good bit gentler on her books. In fact, she never dog-eared pages before I came along. Maybe I’m a bad example. You know, I own several bookmarks, I’ve even used receipts before… dog-earing just works best.
Borrowing a book is like dating someone, but without the attachment. You may think I’m crazy, but you should ask to borrow a book from someone some time, and pay attention to their book. Compare it to their personality. You’ll thank me later.
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash