I was texting with a friend yesterday about library books and mentioned not having yet read a book I checked out last month. Then I clarified that I'd returned it as soon as I realized that I wasn't going to get to it quickly. I don't like having library books out that I'm not actively reading or about to read. It makes me feel selfish. I'm convinced that I might be keeping somebody else from reading that very book. I know with the holds system they could place a hold on it, but what about those people who were just browsing the shelves and might have stumbled upon it to their delight? I'd have stolen that delight, and I'd think that every time I saw the unread book sitting in the library box.
I feel the same way about my own unused or unloved stuff, ie. clutter. Later, I asked my son to load our old wobbly kitchen chairs in the van. I was so happy to see them go! These chairs, which we used all day, every day, for meals, school, and life for 17 years, are now so wobbly that I consider them a hazard to sit upon. I've been wanting them gone for quite a while, but somehow didn't do it. Yesterday, I just couldn't stand the sight of them anymore. I told my husband they needed to go to Salvation Army where they'd be repaired* and resold. I'm not sure why he didn't realize the fixing part before, but that was news to him, and he immediately agreed that they should go.
Anyway, this is a huge relief to me for the same reason that promptly returning my library books is. It feels selfish to me to see things sitting around my house unused or unloved, when I know that somebody else would use them. I always have a bag in progress of things to give away.
It's why I love loaning things to people, too. I don't often use my sewing machine, so I was thrilled to lend it to a friend last week. So, if you need to borrow something, just ask! Maybe I'll even give it to you.
* I did try to tighten them myself a few months ago. The screws are so old that they broke inside the wood, and I can't figure out how to get broken pieces of screws out of the wood.