I’ve Let 4,000 People Borrow Your Book!

Do you let people borrow your favorite books? I used to.

If I loved a book, I had to share it with others. So I’d lend it, hoping they’d get the same rush from the story as I did.

But things have changed. Now that I’m an author, my perspective is different. (Funny how that works.)

My guess is most of us authors on this blog have had a reader come up to them and say, “I absolutely loved your book! I’ve passed it around to at least a dozen people!” We smile and say thank you and sincerely mean it, but if we’re honest, there’s a tiny spot inside that says, “I wish a few of your twelve friends could have skipped two trips to Starbucks and bought a copy.”

Not so we can get rich. But make a living? Yes. There’s this dream most authors carry of not having to work another job. Of writing full-time. And when we’re making eighty cents to a $1 per every book we sell, yeah, we’d love it if there’d be less passing and more buying.

But now I’m going to contraindicate myself and tell you to pass our books around as much as you want. Why? Because there will always be the library reader who hasn’t stepped into a Barnes and Noble in ten years, and the borrower who reads a book and never needs to see it on his shelf, but on the other hand there will also always be the reader who must own their own copy of a favorite book—be it in paper form or e-reader form.

And the best way to tell those people about our novels is to have you hand them a copy of one of our books. So pass on, we appreciate it greatly.

Talk to us. Are you a buyer or a borrower? A library connoisseur? Do you lend your books out? Are there some books you’ll rarely lend out because you might not get them back?


About James L. Rubart

Husband, Dad, Author, Speaker
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6 Responses to I’ve Let 4,000 People Borrow Your Book!

  1. Martha A. says:

    I am both!!! I am a lender, borrower and buyer….I own books and like to share them with people. Many people that I lend books to love to read, but have no idea how to pick a book. They walk into the bookstore, library, and really don’t know how to pick a good book to read. When I lend them books, they learn to discover what genres they like without spending money on books they do not enjoy and often go and purchase some of the books they have borrowed, but also, they spread word about that author that they enjoyed. When that author has a new book come out, and they see if advertised at the bookstore, in a catalog etc. they remember the book they borrowed and buy it, because they enjoyed the other one, they will likely enjoy this one! Also, for those of us who are addicted to owning books, after awhile, there comes a time when you cannot own every book printed and you have to stop buying as many….


  2. Marianne says:

    i love to share my books…well, some of them. Usually not all the books by one author, because i just want to ‘hook’ but then, i been a book seller for more years than i care to remember, though i enjoyed every minute of it. i am a buyer, but only of print books. i will not pay for an ebook, though i have a Kobo and a Kindle. Those are only for free books. i do use the library, for sure if there is a new author i want to try out. But books in my favorite genre, or favorite author are still ones i buy.


  3. I am going to admit to being a Scrooge and say that I rarely let people borrow my books. It’s because I am too much of a germophobe to want the book BACK after it’s been in someone else’s hands. This is the reason I don’t care much for used books or library books. If I want someone to read a book I’ve read, I either let them HAVE my copy or I buy a copy for them. I think other authors must dislike me for not sharing the wealth!


    • jimrubart says:


      I get the thing about used books–probably why I’ve never been able to wrap my mind around used clothes either. Ugh, no thank you.

      But the thing that made me hesitant to loan books in the old days was how often I wouldn’t get them back. (Yes, I know I have books on my shelves people lent me … if only I could remember who they are.)



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