Books That Aren't Allowed To Leave My House

As I typed out the title to this post, I had to giggle – sounds like I’m holding the books hostage.

I used to be fairly laid-back about allowing friends to borrow my books. Until I lost a whole collection of now-impossible-to-find comics. Swiftly followed by books being returned in bad condition.

While I don’t mind loaning out some of my books – but only to certain people whom I trust – there are some books that are not allowed to leave the house. At all.

Edmund Spenser’s ‘Faerie Queene’ – apart from being the oldest book I own (1859), the cover has come away from the rest of the book.

Cover of Spenser’s ‘Faerie Queene’
Title page of ‘Faerie Queene’

I can’t remember when I joined the Folio Society. The only reason I did was to get this collection of fairy tales, which were part of the introductory offer. Grimm’s Fairy Tales has illustrations by Arthur Rackham; the illustrations in the Hans Christian Andersen collection is by W Heath Robinson; and Perrault’s Fairy Tales has illustrations by Edmund Dulac.

Folio Society Fairy Tales
Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
Perrault’s Fairy Tales

I’ve managed to amass a fair-sized collection of Robert Vavra’s books. I love them all, but my favourite is ‘Unicorns I Have Known’.

Robert Vavra - ‘Unicorns I Have Known’

As I said in my review for ‘Circe’, the reason I bought it in hardback is because of the beautiful cover - dustjacket and the book itself.

Madeline Miller - ‘Circe’
‘Circe’ cover of book

Of all the covers I’ve seen over the years for different editions of ‘Dracula’, this is, in my opinion, the best.

Bram Stoker - ‘Dracula’

I found this edition of HP Lovecraft’s complete Cthulhu Mythos at the British Museum.

HP Lovecraft - Complete Cthulhu Mythos

General reference books like ‘Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend’ again, because they’re not easy to find/replace.

Funk & Wagnall - Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend

And my writing reference books, like ‘Emotion Thesaurus’ because I’d be lost without them, especially while editing.

The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd edition

What are your thoughts on lending people your books? Are you laid-back about it like I used to be? Or is it an absolutely no-no?