I have a collection of books on eastern and western mysticism. Is it good to leave them out when guests are coming or should I put them away as being too personal or possibly offensive?
Considering that there’s another thread about guests objecting to tarot cards and ouija boards, I guess I’d put them away. People can be so narrow-minded. Sigh.
I suspected that. Thanks.
It’s probably going to depend on your general guest “audience”. And also if there’s other types of books too.
Most of our guests have some kind of connection to one of the many universities in our area and our book collections in each apartment get mentioned as a perk in the reviews. I have ecelctic taste and have made an effort to include something for everyone so I am sure there’s also something to offend someone. You might need to mix them in or just make sure you have less interesting books around too. As a guest, I would be psyched about your collection but there are people out there who could be offended. You just have to decide if you care or not ,)
Leave them out! I love staying in places where personal books and games are included. I just stayed in an AirBnb where the hosts had a large collection of books on Asian and Middle Eastern history and art, and I loved them. It really elevated the place.
I can’t imagine a guest complaining about books. If you’re that worried, put them on a slightly higher shelf, but honestly, the type of people who might mind won’t notice them, and those who notice will probably enjoy them.
Thanks for the thoughtful answer. Now I’m concerned that my CD collection of music would also be offensive – although I do have a nice mixture of classical & hard rock and everything in between.
No, I wouldn’t leave them in your rental. There is the possibility that some guests could be offended (some people can be offended by just about anything) but remember too that the books might suffer accidental damage by the guests.
As you refer to the books as a ‘collection’ then it’s possible that you value them quite highly and bear in mind that something as simple as a coffee spill could ruin one or more of your books.
If you value them, take them out of the rental.
Same with your music collection. I sometimes think that in rental properties there’s some weird law that says the more you value something, the more likely it is to be damaged.
Yes, keep it sterile like a Howard Johnson motel.
This: if you value them, don’t leave them. If you don’t mind them travelling to other places, leave them.
That’s the simple formula.
That is a choice and a lot of hosts go that way but I think that most guests are expecting a more personal experience. It’s an Airbnb afterall and that’s the best part, what makes it different. There are people who merely want cheaper but that’s not any fun for me so I don’t cater to it. My guests generally are the type who want a personal or more interesting/homelike experience and I prefer those types of guests (but also don’t have any trouble getting them in my location, so it goes back to priorities).
I put a note in our house manual about the books saying that it wasn’t an “exchange”, not a leave-one take-one situation. I noted that some are from my mother’s collection and don’t want to lose any. No books have been removed since I put these notes in. Surely it is a trust game, but you are already trusting them in your home.
It depends on your rental. I host in my home and though the guests are separated from me I have things I value in there. Anyone offended by my room can stay elsewhere. Please. It’s all pictured in the rental pics.
However if you are trying to book as much as possible, see it as a business above all else, and want to appeal to everyone, then remove your things.
This. I am more than happy for the easily-offended to weed themselves out. If someone is offended by books they should stay at a hotel. All of this time I haven’t been able to figure out what “more suited to a hotel” means… lol ,)
I would think that your books are an extension of your place and you would not want to remove that vibe …
but do safeguard the valuable ones.
If you do leave books, please don’t make little signs on each shelf that say, “please don’t touch the books”. As silly as it sounds, I once stayed at an Airbnb with such a set-up. I was so annoyed because I had chosen that listing, which cost a little more and was a bit out of the way, because of the all the books in the photos
I leave books out for guests to read. The spaces between them on the shelf seem to ever grow, though…
I have a small bookshelf with a few books on it - the Harry Potter series, some Dave Barry, a bunch of Little Golden Books and old Hardy Boys for the kiddos, Tolkien, the Kite Runner series, Pratchett, Sherlock Holmes, Wodehouse, Asimov… I’ve had guests comment on how much they enjoyed looking through them.
Whether you go for a more “home” vibe or more “sterile hotel” also depends on your target audience - I want my guests to feel like they are staying with family in a cozy and comfortable home, so I have books and board games and toys and comfortable couches with throw blankets and colorful dishes and hot chocolate… I have paintings on the wall done by my mother and grandmother, and artwork brought back from China by my grandfather. I love having families with kids or pets that really enjoy it all. It’s part of the fun for me and part of the charm, I hope, for my guests. And they do seem to appreciate it.
So I guess I would leave out your books and let a little of your personality show in your listing. It’s the difference between Airbnb and a hotel for me.
I agree. My husband and I say that sterile AirBnbs feel corporate, even if they’re not run by a corporation, and I tend to ignore those listings if I can find a place with a real-home feel (even if it’s a full-time STR) in the same area; I’ll often pay more for a less-sterile place, too. I am far more likely to overlook little inconsistencies in a rental, too, if it feels like a home. So things that make the place feel good and usable to you—books, music, etc—will draw you the type of clientele that enjoy that.
I’ve stayed in upward of 30 AirBnbs in the last year and a half, and I’ve seen lots of places that leave out books/music to share. I just stayed at a wonderful place in Abingdon, VA that had an extensive collection of mountain/country music on vinyl, and we had a ball listening to them. I’ve also leafed through (and sometimes finished reading!) people’s books (as an example above I listed the place I stayed in Asheville, NC) and played with games left for guests that had all the pieces. I know I’ve never damaged anything… and I can’t imagine I’m the only one who is careful, and that every other guest is a tornado who destroys things!
I also agree with putting a small sign on the shelves that it’s not a take/leave share or mentioning it in the house listing if you’re afraid they might grow legs. I can’t imagine anyone would walk off with CDs, but I guess mentioning it there doesn’t hurt, either.
Remove anything that you don’t want to have walking out with a guest, accidentally or otherwise… some guests like to get value for their stays.