Sticky Note

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Booking Through Thursday ~ To bend or not to bend

This week's Booking Through Thursday asks:

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?

Well, I have a bit of split personality on this issue. My fiction and non-fiction books are, unfortunately, not treated equally. I do like to keep all my books in the best shape possible. But some of my books (i.e. inspirational, etc.) get dog-eared and written in. I'll underline and write in them with no second thought because if I really liked something in it, I would never find it again just skimming. (But I still won't bend the cover or spine.)

Although, sometimes I'll use a piece of paper for my bookmark and when I like something I'll write the page and paragraph number on it instead of writing in my book.

However! My fiction books I like to keep in near new condition. No dog-ears. No writing in them. No bending the cover or the spine. If I'm toward the front or back of the book I'll curl the smaller end around, gently cupping it in my hand, but absolutely NOT bending it or breaking the spine!

I do cringe when I see a book being bent in all directions. My oldest daughter reads a ton and she's a dog-earer, cover bender, spine breaker. How can she be related to me?! I can't bear to watch! My heart goes out to her books. And don't think I'm not always telling her to be nice to the books and treat them better. Alas, to no avail. Part of her problem is she reads in bed and then falls asleep then rolls around on her poor, defenseless books. Or the books fall between her bed and the wall and the cover gets scratched up from the wall texture. Or she crams them into her already overfilled backpack. (Now, to her defense, she is careful not to tear pages or do destructive things like that.)

I must change the subject! It's just too painful!

So what kind of reader are you?

And be sure to check out how others are treating their books over at Booking Through Thursday!

I'm editing to add:

It just hit me! I've been reading through the other responses to this question and I can see that even though we have various opinions/habits, we all love our books.

Some people love them so much they don't mind if they "look" loved. Some people love them so much that they want them to stay looking nice. But the books are all well loved.

So, to say that a book that looks new must not be loved...or to say that a book that's worn out (and not treated well by some's standards) must not be loved...neither are true!

Anyway, it's interesting how we think they way others treat their books shows whether or not the book is well loved. What do you think?


  1. My sister deos the same. Reads the book while sleeping and eventually rools over it. I read while sleeping too, but I am careful enough to keep the book back on my bedside table no matter how sleepy i am.

    I guess you are lucky, your daughter shares your love of reading. She'll realize her mistakes some day :)

  2. Oh Sunny, you are just too cute for words! :) I am definitely not a spine breaker. I am rougher on my non fiction, self helpish, spiritual growth kinds of books if I am really getting something out of them. I will totally highlight them, dog ear them, and write all over the inside covers. I learned this in college, and it will never stop. I have tried to write notes on post its or index cards and put them inside, but when reading a book, I will take it EVERYWHERE, and I will inevitably lose those slips. My son is like your daughter, and my dear, it PAINS me (I too shiver and look away at this point). Maybe they'll grow into a more careful manner. :)


  3. Your daughter and I have a lot in common (reading-habit-wise) it would seem. I think that the book itself is just a materialistic object, it's the story inside that has meaning and how we use that--to influence our attitudes and actions--shows whether or not you have really loved the book.

  4. lol your daughter's books lol

    I am a mixed-up one too. Come visit.

  5. I think when a book makes you think or gives you an idea, it's fine to write in them- it's YOUR book after all, right? :-) my religion books make me think and I love scribbling my thoughts and responses to what I'm reading.

  6. I think what you say about loving books is so right - that's why I think as nice as Kindle/eReaders may be, they'll never over take books because readers get to go spend a relatively small amount on something they'll treasure, buying digital just isn't the same.

  7. p.s - I love the Psalm 121:1 button! Can I ask where you got it, and if they do others?

  8. Pete - thanks! I got the button at Christian Women Online, and yes they do others...and ones that are not as "girly" too.

  9. I never had a thought about climate and books in cars either until I moved here! Magnetic Bookmarks usually has some sort of sale going. When I sold books on eBay, I'd include a magnetic bookmark in each book I sold. The company looks for photo submissions. I have to get some of mine together. If a photo is accepted, the company gives you 200 free bookmarks. If I'm successful with any of my photos, I can see them being included in any giveways I may have on my blog.

  10. Thanks, Sunny. I'll take a look :) I'm a web designer so I should probably get my thumb out and make one, but I'm so very lazy.

  11. Interesting response! Books should be handled with care and gentleness, just like cradling a baby in the crook.

    I put mine in ziploc before putting them into my should bag. I don't like books bouncing around. Also books should be kept out of sun.

  12. You know, I think I treat my fiction and nonfiction differently too - I never thought of that.

  13. I tagged you for a "book meme" at Another Road to Ramble if you want to play!

  14. Whoa... we're almost the mirror image of each other. I can safely say our answers are the same. :D

  15. Although I'm loathe to muss up my books or write in them, I love my collection of old paperbacks from college which are written in and dog eared and creased all over the place. Funny...

  16. I think you hit the nail on the head with your edit/postscript. I am a "non-creaser, no writing" kind of person, but after reading all the posts this week I realize that doesn't mean I love my books more than people who write in theirs and dog-ear the pages, we just love them differently :)

  17. I cringed when I see reader break their books too, but I understand why they do it. But as for me, I don't dog ears or break my books either. I like to keep it in good condition :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

  18. I don't write on my books and only underlined school books. I much rather write my own notes if they are needed. But you're right: we all love books and the way that we treat them doesn't diminish that feeling.