Are you a book abuser?
We are doing things a little different this week for Friday Coffee Chat. Jennifer from Girls Gone Reading is taking some time off of blogging because her husband had a moderate heart attack this week so she is taking time to take care of him and herself for a bit. If you would like to post well wishes, she has put up a short blog entry about taking a break from blogging to care for him. Click HERE to see the post.
This week, Rikki from The Bookkeeper is co-blogging with me on this subject because we have had some hilarious bantering going on after she posted The Literary Lollipop's 55 Quirky Questions for Readers on her blog.
Hi everybody, I am Rikki from The Bookkeeper. Carin invited me to guest blog this week about a topic that we feel very strongly about. Actually, no, not true, SHE feels very strongly about it and has actually disowned me for disagreeing with her. Last weekend I found some support from Wallace from Unputdownables who partly shares my opinion. The three of us decided to put the topic out there and create a little poll on top of it.
The topic is: How do you treat your books?
It all started with 55 Quirky Questions, a quiz made up by The Literary Lollipop. I posted the first 20 questions and answered them on my blog and a few hours later didn't know what had hit me. I had owned up to not only creasing the spines of my books but also - now get this - dog earing them. Carin, and not only her, was shocked. My argument was not the book is sacred, but its content, and that I can treat my books any way I want, won't count with her. Thank God, Wallace came forward and admitted she creased the spines of her books as well. A book must look as if it had been read and not just been lying around on the coffee table. Which brings me to the next abuse method. Some of us *pointing to Carin now* eat while reading and some of us don't. After tweeting for awhile I came up with the theory that creasers and dogearers don't eat and vice versa, in fact, those two vices are mutually exclusive. Hence the poll. We want to prove or refute my theory.
|Some of Rikki's books. Loved for their inner beauty (i.e., contents) and outer tastiness (she said a chinchilla is responsible for the damage). Rikki said these are the books in the worst shape in her home.|
|Wallace at Unputdownables.net's "loved" books. Wallace is Rikki's defender and champion in this debate! :)|
So now the question:
How do you treat your books? Do you handle them with care or are they an everyday item that must be able to suffer a certain abuse?
And furthermore: If you crease and/or dogear them, do you also "leave your greasy paw prints" on them, or do you abhor food and coffee stains? Please answer our little poll...
Yes, it's true....Rikki is a book abuser. She kills her books by cracking the spine--so much so that you probably can't even read the title of the book once she's done. Pages might even fall out because the binding is so horribly ruined by her antics. Just as bad, her poor books are beaten into submission by the pages being folded in to mark her place so that when someone else in her family goes to read it, the crease distracts from the words on the page.
Sure, I might occasionally get a tiny drop of coffee on my books or a little bit of grease on the pages while eating some French fries (and by occasionally I mean maybe one out of every 10 books), but let's remember that those spine cracking, dog earing readers do this to EVERY book they own unless it's hardcover and the spine can't be cracked.
|Carin's bookshelf. A little wear and tear, but they look gently used. All of these have been read!|
Books should be respected and cared for. When they sit on our bookshelves, our visitors should be able to look through our library and be able to read the spines of the books thereby identifying the book. More than that, I should be able to reread my books over and over again without the pages falling out or the pages becoming so creased that it becomes distracting to read the words on the page. I really like to try to keep my books looking as new as possible. I don't even like it when the corners of the book look "used". Does that lessen my enjoyment of it? Absolutely not! I still enjoy every word without having to worry about folding the page back to read the first few lines of the page or having the page...*gasp*...fall out! I can't even imagine having to tape a page back in my book. I think I might just faint if that were to happen!
My question for readers is:
What do all of you think? Are books meant to be used to the point where they are falling apart, or are books meant to be cared for like a fragile collector's item?
**Please note that Rikki and I are just engaging in good natured banter. We really do get along although I will put her in a corner to read her battered books if she comes to my house and I will smear my greasy lasagne fingers all over her books should I ever go to hers! Bwahahahaha!