Thursday, October 30, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Mariel suggested this week’s question.

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

I do dog ear my books, and I have also been known to use them as coasters. I used to be much rougher on them than I am now- I don't bend the spines back as far or crack them as much- but I have no expectation that my books, paperbacks especially, will remain in pristine condition. I don't go out of my way to trash them, but for the most part I'm more attached to the stories or the ideas in my books than I am to the physical objects themselves. I have certain rare or collectible books that I take good care of though. It doesn't matter to me what other people do to their books, unless they're library books from my library!

20 comments:

Kathy said...

Ouch! LOL Marie. I have one lady I loan mass paperbacks to and am shocked at how bad those books look by the time I get them back from her. Looks worse than some of the books I buy from a second hand store.

Beth F said...

Sounds like you have a healthy attitude!

Hum said...

I try to keep my books in good condition, but some of my older books have cracked front covers and spines, but like you I'm more attached to the stories.

Callista said...

It bugs me to see books dogeared but as I say in my answer, I would never disfriend someone for it.

Sunny said...

Coasters!! I think I'm going to faint! LOL!

Smilingsal said...

I must admit that in days gone by, I have used a book or two as a coaster.

S. Krishna said...

Yeah, it bugs me to see people abusing library books!

Audrey said...

I still have a picture that I clipped from the NYTimes magazine of a guy who made a coffee table from a stack of (coffee table) books...not sure whether he used coasters on top. :)

I love these questions!

Heather said...

Thank you for pointing out that the important part of a book is the story inside. Even if the cover and the spine die, the characters stay alive in the minds/hearts of everyone who's ever read the book.

Brandy said...

Hardcover library books I'll sometimes use as coasters, as long as they have one of those plastic covers over the jacket. I'm even picky about how I pack up my lunch bag for work--if I'm bringing something frozen, the book goes on top, so when the container sweats as it defrosts it doesn't get the book all wet.

I'm very much not a spine-breaker. I don't go out of my way to not break the spine--I'm just very gentle on books. (And no dog-earring. Ever.)

I think there's a difference--and you can usually see it in a Velveteen-Rabbit sort of way--between a much-loved banged-up book and a poorly-cared-for banged-up book.

Amy said...

Oh, I try. I try to remember the story is what matters and not the physical shell. But dammit if I cringe even reading about bending the cover back, breaking the spine, or (holy crap) using it as a coaster! I had a brief period during college when I was comfortable writing in books, marking them up, even flinging them about. But goodness, it makes me want to hurl now.

Serena said...

Yeah! another fellow book lover. I love to dog-ear pages and write in books and bend back the covers. how can you keep these things in pristine conditions...it seems wrong somehow. I do have certain hardcover books that are pristine, but I think it is more in their nature to be.

Shana said...

Marie - I feel so much better reading your answer! You articulated my feelings so much better than I did!

Shana
Literarily

Scobberlotcher said...

Coasters? Ha, my husband does that. I think that's the thing that makes me cringe the most.

mattviews said...

Books should be handled with care and gentleness, just like cradling a baby in the crook. I'm appalled to see library books that are marked, coffee-stained, page-folded, dog-eared, and written on.

Mary Beth said...

That's exactly how I feel!

sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I read your comment about coasters and wondered "what else do we use books for?" If the kids have an art project that was crumpled in the backpack, we put it inside the front cover of THE BIG DICTIONARY and try to smoothe out the wrinkles.

I'm fairly cautious with my books - no writing or turned corners.

Melissa said...

I am one of those people who will put a book down on the table with it open - like a butterfly. Drives my husband nuts. He's all "you're abusing this book!"

I don;t do this with library books though. I do try to keep those as pristine as possible- they need to stick around for a while, after all.

candyschultz said...

I am afraid I am not very careful with most of my books. I think they should be used. Many cookbooks have food splashes, I write and draw in my quilt books, and I write and highlight in my nonfiction. Most of my fiction is used to begin with so as long as all the pages are there and readable that is all I require.

Anna said...

I wish I had your easy-going attitude about books. I'm obsessive about keeping mine in perfect condition. But I wasn't always that way. The books I saved from when I was a kid are scribbled over and missing covers. I wish I'd thought to take better care of them back then!

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric