How Do You Treat Your Books?

January 24, 2015 Discussions 14

Bought a new book at the bookstore the other day, got it home and was reading it, only to find a page towards the middle had been folded over as though someone had been reading it in the store and marked their place.

I hate when my books have dog-eared pages, have pages that are folded in half, or corners bent over even just a little bit. I have to flatten out the bent bits, and carefully close the book so it doesn’t happen again. Sometimes I put a heavier book on top to help flatten out the pages again.

I also cringe when I see people reading who have bent the book almost in half, so both covers are touching themselves. I saw an add the other day about readers, that had a couple reading in bed together. And both people had bent the books so the covers were touching. It mad me cringe and not even care what the article was about.

I’m also weird in that I can’t use a proper bookmark. I mean, I obviously can of course, I just hate doing so because when I take the bookmark out and pass the place in the book that used to have a bookmark? The book gapes a little bit and I can tell where I’ve had a bookmark in it previously. So I tend to do strange things like rip the corner off a receipt, envelope, or random bit of scrap paper and use that instead.

Those don’t end up taking enough room between book pages to make the book gape open, and thus don’t bother me. Apparently I have a little bit of OCD when it comes to my books. Not so much other things in my life, just the books. *laughs*

If I lend out a book to a friend, and get the book back with bent pages, or looking like it’s been thrown around a lot, or just not in the condition I lent it out in… that friend gets no more borrowing privileges from me. I even make my family take super good care of my books, or they don’t get to borrow them anymore either.

I’m not sure why I’m this critical about my books, it just really upsets me when I find one that hasn’t been well-taken care of.

That’s not to say that I don’t occasionally toss my books around. If I’m sitting at my computer, and want to put a book on my glider rocker for later reading, I will sometimes toss the book onto the seat. But the chair is padded, and I’m careful to make sure the book lands flat on one of the covers so nothing gets bent.


So what are your book pet peeves? Anything that you will refuse to lend a book out again because of? Do you fold your pages instead of using something as a bookmark? Strange OCD book quirks you’d like to share?

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14 Responses to “How Do You Treat Your Books?”

  1. Nathan (@reviewbarn)

    I treat mine like a baby as well. No dog ears, read it carefully, I want it to look pretty on my shelf. And I usually have an old receipt as a bookmark as well. If not for the book then any old receipt works. Occasionally a scrap of paper I am taking notes on instead, but I don’t often take notes so it is rare.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      Because I’m so careful with my books, I still have paperbacks from when I was around 12 or so that I can still read and haven’t had to replace. But I definitely get teased about it from friends and family. Before I got my cat, it was the running joke that my books would be my Dad’s grandkids. Now the cat is. *laughs* Glad to know I’m not the only one who babies my books!

  2. Lola

    Great topic! That must be so annoying to buy a book that was dog eared. Like you I am always really carefull with my books. I don’t like bend spines, although sometimes you can’t prevent that.

    I do love bookmarks and have a whole collection of them, although I have some favourite ones that I never use as I am being carefull with those as well.

    I hardly ever lend books as I am afraid they won’t be as carefull with my books as I am and I just hate feeling like I don’t have all my books at home.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      I rarely lend books out anymore, unless it’s to my Dad. We live together as up until this year, I wasn’t making enough $$ to live in my own place anymore. And he’s getting quite old, so it was a win for both of us.

      But in the past, I’ve lent out books that still looked new, and got them back looking like they’d been picked up at a used bookstore. Then read, sold back to the bookstore, rinse repeat a few times. I’ve also had people lose my books which really irks the hell out of me. So I pretty much don’t lend anymore.

      But even still, I get upset with myself when I accidentally ding a book, even if it’s easily fixable. As I said, I know I’m a little OCD about the condition of my books. I have lots of pretty bookmarks I’d love to use, but I hate picking up a book and having it fall open to a page just because I used a bookmark in it however long ago. So thin paper, or scraps of paper are my bookmark friends.

  3. Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc.

    I have given up on looking after my books now because Elsa just takes them all off the shelves and tears the dust jackets off anyway! I won’t fold pages or write in them but I do quite often put them down open so the spines end up broken and I have quite a few with really tatty covers. I think as long as the pages are intact and legible then I don’t mind as much.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      Broken spines would drive me crazy. I’d be afraid the book would fall apart while I was reading it. Dust jackets don’t bother me either way, if it has one great, if not oh well. I’m sure if there was a child in the house I’d get over some of my book OCD, but there isn’t one, and the cats leave books alone if they’re on shelves. Anywhere else they lay on them, they like to hide or take my things and then laugh at me when I try to find them. *grins*

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I pretty much like to keep my physical finished books as pristine as I can as well, but am a bit weird when it comes to ARCs. I personally treasure all ARCs that come to me and I like to keep a collection of the ones that will definitely stay with me forever – those I don’t mind seeing beaten up a bit, and it actually makes me smile looking back at some of them and seeing how “well loved” they are.
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    • SilvaraWilde

      The only physical ARCs I own, are ones I’ve won in Anya’s Sci-fi & Fantasy friday’s where she gives them away. Oh, and one I found in a thrift shop. So since that means I only have 3, I’m super careful with them. Maybe if I ever get more I’ll be more like you about them, but they’re still rare enough for me that they get treated even more carefully than normal!

    • SilvaraWilde

      For some reason, my book OCD doesn’t kick in as much if the book was used to begin with. Just the brand new ones. I guess that if the book starts out pretty, I want to keep it that way. And if it starts out banged up a bit, then it doesn’t bother me much if it gets more banged up? I still don’t like messing up the pages or spines, but the cover I end up less concerned with.

    • SilvaraWilde

      I used to know a girl who was so hard on her books, she’d have to buy new copies of her favorites every 1-2 years. I can’t imagine treating a book that badly, OR being fine with shelling out the money for a new book that many times.

  5. Elizabeth

    I don’t buy books, so I don’t have these problems, but I do have other things in my life that I am very particular about. I also am very respectful of other people’s books. If a friend lends me one I don’t hold my coffee over it, dog ear the pages, fold it cover to cover, etc. I also remove the pretty dust jacket so I don’t accidentally tear it.

    • SilvaraWilde

      I take off the dust jackets so I don’t hurt them as well, at least with other people’s books. When I used to lend books, I just wouldn’t send the dust jacket. They’re too easy to damage if you aren’t careful, and since I knew it would annoy me to get it back damaged, I’d just skip the whole thing.

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