This week’s Booking Through Thursday question makes me incredibly happy:
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?
If there’s anything I enjoy more than perusing the pages of a book, it’s talking about books, and my rather increasingly anal book habits.
I hate to bring Freud into all this, but when I was younger, I used to toss books around, fold pages (I didn’t believe in bookmarks), bend spines – it makes me shudder to think of how my much suffering I caused those poor paperbacks. That’s probably why I’m so obsessive compulsive about my books nowadays. I still don’t believe in bookmarks, but I do use train tickets and receipts – sometimes post-its – instead of dog-earing. After purchasing a book, I will cover it in clear contact before reading it. Yellowed and torn pages don’t bother me so much, but I detest a bent spine.
Strangely though, this is only the case with new, undamaged books. Once a spine has been broken, it’s no longer sacred, so I have no scruples about bending the cover. I’m also guilty of mistreating the occasional library book. But I’m not so obsessive compulsive that watching other readers damage their books causes me to flinch. I don’t endorse such depravity (sorry, I’m prone to occasional bouts of melodrama and/or gross exaggeration), but I don’t really give two cents about what other people do to their own books.
EDIT: I think another reason why I’m careful with my books is because I never, ever buy hardcovers; I prefer the feel of paperbacks in my hands. But paperbacks tend to get worn over time anyway, so I like to keep them in pristine condition for as long as possible