Monday, July 9, 2007

Who Votes for Dog Ears?

When I was younger, I read voraciously.

As a result, all my books had "broken" spines, were "dog-eared" and looked very (in my opinion) loved.

But throughout my childhood and young adulthood, many people admonished me for "abusing" those books:

"Look what you did to that paperback!"
"You should NEVER crack the spine!"
"What happened? There's a rip in one of the pages!"

Of course, those scoldings didn't change my reading "technique", which was (and is) to bend and twist my books as needed, using their pages as instant "bookmarks" by "flipping down" an edge to retain my place.

To me, this method shows how important and useful my books are.

I don't want my books to sit pristinely on shelves as room decorations. I want them to exhibit an "I've been handled time and again" appearance.

I don't coddle them as if they are made of porcelain. And I don't care if they aren't perfect.

Like people, shouldn't a book's wrinkles, age spots and flaws be celebrated and encouraged?


Jennifer said...

I go back and fourth on this. But here's my final take -- as a major book lover and collector. I do not think people should deface books on purpose. Like leave them where they can get hurt or in the rain. I do think that some good old book lovin' never hurt like bends and page turns. I personally do not agree with writing in books but that said I find it totally charming when I find a book I've been looking for from like 1930 and there's a sweet inscription -- so what's a girl to do? I can't make myself pick up a pen and deface, but I like when others do.

Does this make me a half rebel?
Very good post I love book, love blogs together = bliss.

The Quoibler said...


I agree that no one should "hurt" a book (my husband - ack! - threw out some old college books and I nearly imploded.)

However, I have to say that I really like getting books with inscriptions. There's something about personalizing a book that makes it even more special.

Ah, books. * smile *

Anonymous said...

Paper should definitely show the love.

I have to admit that I'm a little uptight about hardcovers, though. I always use a bookmark with those. :)