Thursday, October 30, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Conditioning

Mariel suggested this week’s question.

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earrer? 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?


My Response:
In all honesty, I would have to answer: yes, yes, yes, yes, but I've changed. In fact, I've flip-flopped. When I was a child, I handled books as if they were precious keepsakes. They are.

When I got older, I used to break the spine by bending the book in half so that I could more easily hold it in one hand while I read. I'd press my fingers down the inside spine to force the book to lay flat while open. I'd think nothing of folding down those pages to keep my place. After all, bookmarks fall out! I confess that I've further messed up books by making notes in them, underling and highlighting lines in them. But no longer.

Now, my books are kept in pristine condition; it's difficult to tell by looking at a book whether or not I've read it. In fact, I hesitate to fully open a book too wide. This means I gently turn the pages as I read. Instead of dog-earring a page, I use a Post-it to keep my place. What changed me? I began to sell my books on eBay!

How do you read a book?

28 comments:

Melody said...

I'm a perfectionist when it comes to handling my books! ;P

Happy Thursday to you!

The Social Frog said...

I had to chuckle when you said that you are hesitate to fully open a book! Boy do I remember doing that, sometimes I go back and forth like that but I try not to worry about it unless it is a book from a library, but I usually buy my books. Thanks for visiting my blog:)

Jennifer said...

Lol. I never really thought about damaging the spine before now. I just try to avoid doing anything irreversible!

Dot said...

Ah I love, that when you have read a book and you close it after the final page and it still looks brand new!!

violetcrush said...

Ouch, you just made me cringe by saying you used to break your books spine :)

bermudaonion said...

I keep my books in pristine condition, too. I don't mind owning a used book, but I want it to be in great shape, too.

Kathy said...

You said you use post it notes in your books. I do that and forget to take the darn things out. I loaned someone a book and she laughed at how many of them were in the book and the little notes I had left on the post-it.

Yvonne said...

All my books still look brand new after I read them. I had to laugh when you said you changed because of eBay. Too funny!

Sunny said...

Oh! That was like fingernails on chalkboard when you talked about purposely breaking the spine! Ouch! Can you tell I keep mine in new condition?! :o)

rjsbooklady said...

We're very different, you and me. I break the spine and make notes in my books and would never dream of selling them or giving them away. My husband keeps his in perfect condition.

Susan B. Evans said...

I'm much more careful with library books or books borrowed from someone then I am with my own personal library. But there are some lines that even I just do not cross - I hate writing/hi-lighting in books and I refuse to do it.

Barbara H. said...

Yep, resale would definitely make one want to keep books in great shape!

karen! said...

This is a great question. I'm noticing a lot of nice, long posts.
Happy Thursday!

Kat said...

I'm still pretty careful with my books. I'd like to keep them as pristine as possible :D Happy BTT!

Dawn said...

e-bay reformed you, that's great! :)

I know a worn book can be a sign of a well-loved book, but I still treat mine carefully (use bookmarks, no writing, no dog-ears).

A friend takes the dust jacket off hardcovers, so the corners don't get creased when she reads ... that's going a bit too far for me.

pete said...

Haha! Keeping them looking new is a talent. Post-it's are a good idea, I usually just remember but occasionally it leads to confusion while I try to figure out where I was.

bethany said...

My books are not as well cared for as yours :) I guess ebay will do that to ya!! haha. I can see why you'd want to have them in good shape!

Lisa said...

Post It Notes are a great idea! I'm so glad you've been reformed!!

Jeane said...

I flip-flopped too (but not because of E-Bay!) I used to underline, fold pages over, crack the cover open. (But never go so far as to break a spine). Now I cringe at those things and try to keep my books nice. Cracked and bent ones just fall apart too soon afterward. And then I can't share them with others- on Paperback Swap!

Kris said...

I'm glad to find another reader who takes care of their books too..it's also hard look at my bookshelves and pick out which I have or haven't read

KittyCat said...

Hi Sal! How are you? That's a great pic of you getting lost in a book :)

Oh dear, I think I got goosepimples when I read about you forcing a book flat...

Meghan said...

My mom reads books like that too. She hardly opens it; I'm not sure how she actually reads!

Lindsey said...

Haha, I know - I was trying to read a book I was planning on giving to someone after I finished... and it was so much work I decided to just chill and not worry about it. I won't try to give it to them as a gift. The moral of this story: don't buy books for people that you haven't read yourself! lol

Becca said...

Sometimes it's hard to open a book without breaking the spine! I like post-its for bookmarks too :)

jlshall said...

I love, love, love Post-it Notes! By the time I'm finished reading a book, it has a decorative fringe of multi-colored Post-its along every edge.

Vintagesquirrel said...

I, too, am very careful with my books, particularly hardcovers. I would never dream of dog-earing the pages.

I recently borrowed a book from a friend who writes in the margins! I have to say I was completely shocked by this.

Julia said...

That made me chuckle when you said you changed your habit with breaking books and dog ears because of Ebay ;)

I'm glad that you have changed, and wow does that even make you feel great? I don't dog ears or break bind but I do cringed when someone does but then I understand why they do it ---

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Mervi said...

I guess the important this is that we enjoy reading and not how we read.

Thanks for vising my blog!