Friday Coffee Chat (6) - Are You a Book Abuser?


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. 


Rikki's Take

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...


Carin's Rebuttal


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!

47 comments:

Rikki said...

OMG, Carin, you made ME almost faint now. Never once did I say that my books are falling apart or that the spines can't be read anymore. You are deducting things that are not there :).
I need to go and find a few books to prove my point. The only two books I own that are falling apart are two paperbacks that have been read so often that even if they were yours they wouldn't look "like new" anymore. Let me go and have a look for those books now.

Carin B. said...

hehehehe...OK....so I was harsh, but you did call me out on your 55 questions with my greasy paw prints (and which Judith most awesomely defended me about and so I "put on my boxing gloves" for today...too much?). I figured your books didn't look that bad until you sent me the chinchilla picture. Half awake, I just about died laughing. You can send another picture of what's more typical and I'll post that too--you know...since I'm fair and all! :P

In reality, I have relaxed quite a bit with my books. I do actually have some books with cracked spines although they are almost all bought at used bookstores or given to me. I DO have them though so that counts, right? Click HERE for a picture.

I'll post again later. I have to leave for a doctor's appointment. :)

Fiona said...

Dog-earing is.... a.... SIN!!!! Well at least it should be. It's just book-torture. Poor books!

I do eat whilst reading and lately have been disgusted whilst reading MY OWN copies of Harry Potter to find the amount of stains in there. Yuck! My only excuse is that I was young and when it came to Harry Potter I couldn't tear my eyes away and often tried to eat side ways whilst reading. I did however have a god-knows-how-old rice crispie fall out of one.

I would say that 99% of my books are NOT covered in food althoug my current Far from the Madding Crowd has one splot of what looks like chocolate in it.

I am not the worst offender. I have had library books where what seemed like a whole packet of crisps fell out of it. I have heard of people finding PUBIC HAIRS in their books. Ugh I can only imagine it was some bloke scratching their balls whilst reading.

The copy of Graham Greene's The Quiet American I bookmooched from the USA came complete with BROWN finger and palm prints all the way throughout the book. They were quite clear finger prints as well. It didn't feel dirty but heaven knows what he was doing whilst reading that book. I try to imagine he was some kind of pottery artist or something.

The other Greene I read (Brighton Rock) came complete with a squashed fly mummified into one of the pages. The book was about 30 years old, falling to pieces because the glue was going crusty anyway. I don't know how long that fly had been in there but it'd become part of the paper by the time I read it.

My covers are creased. However in my defence, books from the USA do not tend to crease as much as British books I have noticed.

My copy of Any human heart didn't crease on the spine AT ALL where as with a British book a crease appears the moment you turn the first page. And as I said in my 55 Quirky Questions I'm not about to sit there and read through a crack just in case a crease appears on the spine!!! So most of my paperbacks are a little creased, not so bad you can't see the title though.

Although I gotta admit... I do carry my books around in my bag. I hate carrying too much so I have a shoulder bag which isn't huge and so my books often travel with my keys and stuff but despite that they seem to travel quite well because I'm always pretty careful. I guess my corners get a bit scuffed but most of my books are in good condition - if looking a little loved.

I do NOT dog ear books though. That is... well it's just torture for a poor book when you can get some bit of technology called a bookmark. I have a little material one a friend made for me which I use and several others that I use sometimes but aren't quite so durable. I don't like those metal clip on ones as I think they must ruin your pages. Also, just too fiddly and wouldn't last very long in a bag.

agirlreads said...

Wow, hot topic!

Okay so I don't crease the spines of my books, nor do I dog ear. I do buy a lot of books from the secondhand bookstore so if they come that way I'm not too worried. I'm not one of those persons that needs every book brand new!!!

In my house my books get treated badly and not by me! My toddlers like to pick them up and carry them around. They never rip them, but they aren't gentle with them. My most valued collections are up high, but I'm running out of space up high.

Oh and I treat my books on my Kindle with the most kindness and respect :D

Carrie said...

i read all my books so gently that most people think they have never been read.

my brother on the other hand has been known for throwing books through closed glass windows, ripping books in half, and other book atrocities. at one point when we was a kind we decided not to buy him any more anthologies because he couldn't make it through the whole thing before destroying the book.

theliterarylollipop said...

Wow, I'm so glad you guys are having fun with these questions. I've admitted to dogearing my books but I can't stand to crease the spines. My mother makes fun of me because she thinks I read with the book open an inch. She's less forgiving with her books. She isn't afraid to yank those covers and pages open, bend them the opposite way, and balance dripping coffee mugs on the surface.

I can't go that far, but I must say that I use a highlighter on occasion to make note of interesting passages (a habit left over from school).

Great post Carin & Rikki!

Kemendraugh said...

I'm going to have to side with you on this one, Carin. Well. For the most part.
If you were to go through my books, you would find many, many dog-eared pages, and many, many creased spines. But I still plead innocent! These signs of abuse are not of my doing. It's only because most of my library has either been bought used, or else rescued from the library discard box. I do NOT dog ear my pages. Never ever. Rather than that, I have been known to use even a blade of dry grass as a bookmark, or even writing down the page number I'm at on my wrist.
The very thought of a book spine cracking gives me goosebumps. The actual sound of it makes me give an audible gasp of horror.
My books are beloved members of my household, and will be treated as such!

That being said? My very favourite books do have loose pages, damaged spines, and worn corners. But it's because I read them a LOT. They're not worn so much as loved.
I think it's okay for books to be loved, which is why I have a soft spot for library discards. I always feel so heroic when I rescue a childhood favourite, however damaged it may be!

Chachic said...

Okay, I'm still in shock at how abusive other people can be with their books! Maybe it's a culture thing but people over here are VERY careful with their books. We even cover them in plastic to protect the covers. No dog ears or spine creases for us, no, no, no. A lot of my friends have commented that most of my books still look almost new and that's because I handle them with care. Yes, the content is more important than outward appearances but of course you want your books to last as long as they could. This is also probably why I don't let a lot of people borrow my books. I only let close friends borrow books because I know they'll be careful and if they aren't, I'll guilt them into replacing the book. LOL. That's why I have multiple copies of some of my favorite books - so I can have lending copies.

I don't mind buying used copies of books though. But not if it's a dilapidated copy. I mean, how can I concentrate on reading if I'm scared that the pages might fall off?

Carin B. said...

@Rikki - OK...my peacemaking gift is in the mail to you--complete with LOTS of bookmarks (even a few origami ones and my ridiculous oompa loompa one)! LOL!

@Fi - OK...it took me awhile to read your comment because I was laughing so hard. Pubic hair?!!! Really?!!! You still read the book?!!! I would have thrown that sucker out! That's just nasty (although my friend insists those things are just everywhere--he said they can even be found on walls and ceilings and you end up asking, "How did that get up there?!!" We are definitely going to have to do a book swap so I can see these cruddy UK bindings you keep talking about.

I also think that you should probably invest in a new Harry Potter. When I say I have the occasional greasy paw print in my books it is very occasional! I don't think I could handle chocolate, Rice Krispie treat, or chips falling out of my books. *Smack on the hand for you!*

In my crazier days, I used to rebuy books that I would get a grease stain on or accidentally crack a spine, but I have since given that up.

But really...a PUBIC HAIR? I don't think I'll ever get over that that book didn't go straight into the fireplace. LOL! I'm dying laughing. That's SO gross! Way worse than the dead fly which is pretty bad.

I also sometimes carry books in my bag and it ALWAYS ruins the corners so I try hard not to. Drives me crazy! I also hate the metal bookmarks because they ALWAYS ruin the pages. I have been using the video of the origami bookmark that Rikki posted on her blog lately (although I'm not sure why she posted it since she's a dog earer! :P), but I have a collection of free paper bookmarks.

@agirlreads - I'll admit, a few times I wouldn't buy a used book because it was so shoddy looking. The picture I posted on Twitter were all from a used bookstore and I think I begrudgingly bought them because I figured I would get rid of them after I finished reading them. I haven't yet, but they drive me crazy because they are so cracked.

As for your boys, you can always do THIS until they learn their manners with your books! LOL!

I also take care of my Sony Books and Kindle books like they are brand new! :P

@Carrie - You are like my husband. I can't ever tell that he's read a book because they always look brand new. As for your brother, is he like the Tasmanian Devil or something?! I love your description of him. He sounds like a feral child or something. LOL!

@theliterarypop - Oh yes! Your quiz has set off a firestorm! LOL! I love it! Best quiz ever. You must come up with a new one in the new years so we can have another huge debate. :P

As for your dog earing propensities, I may have to rethink our bloggy friendship! Dog earing is worse than spine cracking to me because it does actually distract me from the words on the page. It's bad I know. I shouldn't care, but I actually avoid the library some because so many people do it. I mean, it's not even their book, but they feel like they can deface it by dog earing anyway!

@kemendraugh - Oh the look of cracked spines and dog ear pages actually causes me a little bit of pain in my heart. It just kills me to look at or see someone do that. I have gotten SO much better though. When I was in high school I couldn't even take exams where the pages had previously been creased at the staple. It distracted me so much I couldn't concentrate on the test! I'm ok with it now though. See?!! I'm progressing from my OCD!

@chicachic (hehe) - You are a super carer! I don't think you'd even loan a book to me! That makes me sad. I will have to be more careful with my books in the future. I think the plastic covers are kind of strange! Take a picture of one and put it on your blog! I've never seen plastic covers for novels before. I've seen them for comics and for textbooks, but not novels.

LLM said...

Oh, man! I read while eating but I am neat and very rarely ever get anything on my books. But, I do crease the spines -- but I do not dogear books unless I have nothing else around and the book is mine. I feel that books are meant to be enjoyed and if you own them, you can do whatever you want to them. My husband and son could not disagree with me more! They both complain about my books!

Fiona said...

Oh no the pubic hair fortunately not a personal experience... yet.

This is why I like owning new books I read rather then library books! At least I can be assured that any gunk in there is actually mine.

I can't get rid of my Harry Potter books - they're the ones I have had from the beginning! I have loved and read these books over and over again. They contain my sweat and tears. They contain my DNA - we're practically related!

Wallace said...

This is so great, who knew that all these opinions would surface???

So, in all fairness, the only book in that pile of books I sent Carin the picture of that is not used is Julie & Julia. The rest came to me quite broken. I absolutely love it though. It's part of the fun of getting used books... you don't have to bully them up too much on your own because they've already LIVED!

I am dying over Fiona's comment. I am absolutely disgusted when I get a used book from a swap (or a library book) that has food and fingerprints in it. So gross. That is way more personal to me than a measly mark in the spine. Who knows what happened to that book. What if that piece of food fell out of their mouth for goodness sake?!? I once had a book that I was pretty sure has a couple of blood smears in (as in someone had a bloody nose or hang nail while reading... I'm hoping that's all it is). Like Fiona, I tried to make the best of it, imagine it was something else, and keep turning the pages to get away from the yucky stain.

I do eat while reading, but I am incredibly careful about getting food on the pages because I am so grossed out by stains in books.

I also do not dog ear. I prefer the "modern invention" of the bookmark and get annoyed when I receive a book that is dogeared (because they tend to fold back over on their own and confuse me... did I do that? Is that where my place was?).

Books are pretty darn resilient. I have had only one book fall apart on me, and it was actually brand new -- I think it was bound badly. Otherwise, never... not even a page.

I am a history nut... books that are left looking untouched would be (to me) like visiting monuments and sites that have had all traces of human involvement steam cleaned from their premises. I want to know that someone has been there! :)

Love this... am going to go post the link on my page right now.

Jessica - On a Pale Star said...

*raises hand* Will I be stoned if I tell y'all that I not only crack the occasional spine (it really is rare, in my case, maybe one of every 20), I sometimes dog-ear them AND eat whilst reading? If it's a non-fiction book--one from which I want to learn--I write in the margins, too.

If I read them for Lit courses back in college, they have notes written in the margin, passages highlighted, pages dog-eared, finger prints from reading homework in the student union/cafeteria, and cracked spines from me trying to keep them open as I took notes. My copies of Dracula and Gulliver's Travels, particularly, are appalling.

Rikki said...

Carin, wow, your books look worse than mine, but I know it wasn't you who did the damage. What exactly do you mean when you say "Rikki says a chinchilla did that"? Are you implying I was lying and it was actually me who nibbled on the books,lol?
Looking forward to your oompa loompa bookmark and all the other stuff, lol.

Fiona, I was laughing so hard when I read your post. Pubic hair and packets of crisps. That is so funny! How disgusting to open a library book and find food tumbling out.
Pottery artist, yeah, right. Exactly!

agirlreads, I know where you are coming from. With two small bosys in the house you start to not care about your belongings that much anymore. This is actually one of the reasons I started to dogear. Nobody could pull the bookmark out of the book because it looks so playable.

Carrie, your brother seems to be a wild one! Why would he rip books in half? Is that what he does when he disagrees with the author?

theliterarylollipop, glad there is another dogearer around!

Kemendraugh, this is the reason why some of my books look so bad, overuse!

Chachic, this must be a cultural thing. Cover a book in plastic to protect the cover? OMG, I'd never do that in my life.

LLM, I only abuse my own books. You should have seen me with The Enchanted April. I was so careful with it, it could have been a newborn baby.

Wallace, I agree on the stains. If you don't know where they are coming from, ugh!

Jessica, hey, they let me alive, so nobody will stone you either. Glad you came forward to support me. A book is supposed to be used after all.

Lyndsey@teadevotee said...

Hahahaha, hilarious conversation. I guess I'm an accidental abuser....I don't set out to make things. I do assume, however, that books which go on holiday will get misshapen by sitting on my wet towel, have crisps crumbled on them, fruit punch spilled on them.
I DO take very good care of library books though! No hairs for me...so wrong!

Rikki said...

Lyndsey, like I said, I'd never be careless with a book I don't own. With books taken on holidays, however, it is a different thing. It's only natural that a book coming back from the beach looks a bit worn (unless it belongs to Carin, haha).

Zee said...

Not only do I crack the spine and dog ear. I eat while I read AND *sensitive readers should be sitting down now* I write in my book (only pencil though)!

Books are meant to be used and I think better if I can argue with them in pencil. :D

Melissa said...

Okay. I just read this post, looked over at my bookshelves and almost had tears in my eyes.

I would never dog tear a book, highlight, eat on top of, and if I can, I avoid cracking the spine. Yes, I have been known to buy another copy of a book because the outside spine has shown signs of being opened continuously. I have close friends from college that were frustrated by my continuous note taking because I would never highlight the actual books. Oh and the notecards would NEVER be placed between the pages. Don't you know that warps the pages. ;) I'll be back. I have to go hug my books now. Of course being careful not to do it too roughly, it can band the covers.

Carin B. said...

@LLM - Is your family much more careful with their books then? I somehow cannot believe that you eat around your books and have never gotten a drip of something or a greasy paw print on a book! Well done Miss!

@Wallace - Um...Julie and Julia looks pretty bad. LOL!

I'm also pretty sure I got a dot of coffee on Lost on Planet China so girl...you're gonna have to deal! :P

I agree with the dogearing. When it's all the way throughout the book the pages sometimes keep bending in on themselves like they are beckoning me to reread pages!

@Jessica - Oh textbooks don't count. I wrote and highlighted those babies like no one's business! I still didn't dog ear. I preferred to use the sticky tabs that business people use. I could label what the page was on the tab and find what I was looking for much easier!

@Rikki - I think Carrie's brother might just be the Incredible Hulk--don't make him angry.

I never thought about the kid factor coming in with dog earing. Have they ever gone through your books and un-dog eared a page and left you wondering where you are? Dang with you parents! Always having bad habits that seem to make sense in the end!!! LOL!

@Lyndsey - Do you notice a difference in binding quality/spine cracking between UK prints and US prints?

Oh man...the hairs Fi posted about--VERY WRONG!!!

@Rikki - You make fun of me now, but I made sure to put some greasy paw prints and dried some food on my peace offering gifts to you. Bahahaha!

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

I may never buy a used book again after hearing about the pubic hair. In fact, I think that I need vinegar to wash my brain right now!

9 times out of 10, you can't even tell that I have read the book. Once in a while, there are a few finger smudges.

I just don't see a reason to abuse books. They have these things called bookmarks and post its to make notes and mark your place. Dog ears are for dogs!

Scrabblequeen said...

This is just TOO much fun! I don't dogear or break spines...and while I DO eat or drink while reading, I confess to being very careful, so as to NOT make stains. That being said, I also do NOT enshrine my books. The get dusty and worn with time. The good ones get read and re-read and show shelf-wear over time. BTW...if you borrow a book from me, you'd better not dogear, or it will be the LAST time you get a book from me!

Rikki said...

Zee, thank you for outing yourself. ITA.

Carin, you are sooo funny! Lol. Actually, no, dogears are hardly noticed by kids. They only pull out things that see sticking out of the book. Dogears are safe.

Gwen, I have heard of bookmarks before and actually own some. Don't be so hard on us!

Nymeth said...

I don't dog ear and try to avoid food stains, but coffee is a whole other story :P Also, I sometimes take notes in pencil and mark favourite passages. I treat my books with some care, but not like they're collector's items... as much as I love a book that looks new, there's also something heartwatming about a well-read copy.

agirlreads said...

Nymeth - You got it. My copy of Dune is so well-worn and I love it. It shows that I have read and re-read and loved it!

Carin B. said...

@Melissa - I definitely took a lot of notes in college (I actually took lecture notes and then took separate book notes). I had to highlight though. Sometimes my law and accounting courses wouldn't go in my brain unless I highlighted, put sticky tabs, and wrote in. Too much to memorize! I used to be just like you, but I've relaxed my stance on book abuse a little (as you can see, I was quite hyperbolic in my rebuttal since I actually occasionally get a grease stain from chips or something in my books).

@Zee - *SHUNNED!!!* hehehe...I think pictures of your books are now mandatory. You must do a blog post!

@Gwen - I think finger smudges are inevitable because we have natural oils in our skin. It still bothers me though and I have definitely repurchased books because I'm unhappy with their "used" look!

@scrabblequeen - I'm the same way...if someone defaces my book I would rather just buy them a copy if I really want them to read something! LOL!

@Rikki - I will reference THIS to all parents whose kids are not kind to books! Teach them a lesson! Oh and the chinchilla...don't lie...I know you get hungry while reading and since you won't snack on real food...well...I think we all know who really made those bite marks! ;)

@Nymeth - *high five* on the coffee stains. They are occasional, but I can't read and not drink something at the same time! It's inevitable! Wag of the Finger though to the "well-read copy"! LOL! You and Zee can get together and write in pencil in your books! :D

Zoe said...

I have to confess to doing ALL OF THE ABOVE (actually no I don't, I'm 100% positive I've never left a pubic hair in a book :P). But I have been known to dogear, crack spines,eat while reading, and I always put my book in my purse. I try to use bookmarks, but my boys just pull them out. And the cracking spines goes along with eating for me, because I use my plate to hold the book open. But I guess I'm a pretty neat eater because I rarely get food on the book. I aggree with Rikki, it's the words in the book that are sacred, not the book itself. I of course have some exceptions, though. My out of print books that I paid dearly for on ebay must be handled with kid gloves!

Jessica said...

@Carin Oh, my text books were written all over, in addition to the notes I took separately. If I knew I'd resell the book at the end of term, though, I was more careful with them - I wanted to get a good price!

I was an English Lit major, though, and it took all of a semester for me to get over my "books are sacred" training (from my dad) and start actually using them. Pretty much every Norton Critical Edition of a novel I own is a mess because I became pretty free with my underlining and marginalia. Teenage me would've been horrified to see it.

These days I'm much kinder to my novels. I don't live in my car or out of a backpack anymore, so they don't get banged around, and it's rare that I feel the urge to mark in one. I do dog ear them, though, if I can't find a scrap of paper to use as a bookmark. And I don't feel bad about it. *is rebelious*

theliterarylollipop said...

What? A Pubic hair?

Carin B. said...

@Zoe - Yay!!!! Zoe! My Song of Ice and Fire friend! You know, I think you and Rikki have a point about the kiddo thing and bookmarks. Us childless people have no empathy since we don't know what it's like to have to watch your kids doing naughty little things like that (which really aren't naughty since they don't really know better though). I will say that I do have some sympathy because I do have to fight with my dogs and keep them from ruining my book, but it is much easier to get mad at a dog than a cute little kid isn't it?!! I know it's unkind of me to compare my dogs to people's children, but it's the only frame of reference I have so you can flog me now!

@Jessica - I actually found the margin notes of my English Lit book REALLY helpful so it changed my mind about trying to get pristine textbooks. Sometimes that info is GOLD!

@theliterarypop - LOL! My reaction was exactly the same!

Reese M. said...

Here's my two cents: My Gently Loved Books...

Short answer: Yes, I do sort of abuse my books. HOWEVER - I *don't* dog ear, I sometimes crease spines (lightly), I don't eat *over* my books, but I have been known to write in margins. I now blame the writing in the margins on my education. :D

SenoraG said...

What a funny thread! I do not dog ear that is a mortal sin to me as is leaving the book open and laying it facedown instead of bookmarking!

Spine creasing, yes and no. I don't try to but if its a big fattie (my fav) towards the middle you kinda have to a bit to keep reading. Creasing to the point of falling out pages, no.

I do eat while I read but I rarely dribble. Thankfully I read the majority of my books on Nook or Kindle, solves all problems!

Gwen@ChewDigestBooks.com said...

Still searching for the right cleaner for my brain to get ride of the pubic hair image!

Rachel said...

I never used to worry about creasing my books or cracking the spine. I used to think that's what happened when you read a book. Then I met my fiance. We had only been dating a few weeks and he bought me a book which I happily read and cracked the spine. He was horrified. He almost cried. His books look UNREAD. That habit has rubbed off on me. Sure I still have the occasional crease or crack the spine of a really tightly bound book, but I am now an expert at reading a book and leaving it completely in tact. I don't even have to try anymore. It's second nature. I had to learn or he wouldn't let me borrow his books ;) haha

I guess that's his OCD thing. I sure as hell have mine that he has no choice but to live with, so I don't mind living with that.

LLM said...

Carin, like I said I am extremely careful about food or drink getting on my books because it grosses me out a little. Maybe "never" is extreme, but rarely do I ever get anything on them. You should see my books from college -- hightlights, notes, etc. My son loves it when I assign a book I used in college -- he gets to see all my notes. My son and husband think books should look like new -- whatever. I lost that "books are sacred" think as a lit. major. I do have a complete works of Shakespeare and similar that are in pristine condition, but they are exceptions.

Carin B. said...

@Reese - I did leave a comment on your blog post! Everyone should go look at it! :)

@SenoraG - Yeah, my spine cracking until the pages fall out was a hyperbole...hehe. I do think it happens. It's definitely happened to library books I've checked out! I don't want to be charged! I hate the big books that are bound cheaply. They are destined for spine cracking. :(

@Rachel - You BF sounds like my husband. I'm not quite that OCD about my books, but I try to be careful. Glad he's converted you! LOL! Someone else on my side! *high five to your man*

@LLM - Oh Shakespeare would be one I'd write ALL over! Anything I can't understand without help is likely to be abused. :P

Rikki said...

OK, my comment yesterday must have disappeared.

Nymeth, I agree. I well-read book is just really nice.

Carin, of course, it was me who nibbled on the books. You know me too well, lol.

Zoe, thanks! Yes, of course, out of print books are a different matter.

Rachel, thank God my husband is more forgiving.

LLM, exactly. Books are sacred is something I will never understand.

leeswammes said...

Carin and Rikki, great post! I already gave you my opinion and that is: no spine cracking, no dog-earing, but food is ok. I'm with Carin on this.

I actually dog-eared a book yesterday and I had to think about this before I did it, but the book was at least second-hand, full of dog ears already, with a creased cover. It's not a book I will read again or give away (not even to a charity shop).

And actually: it's GREAT to use dog-ears! Yes, it is. But not in my lovely new books. No way!

Iris on Books said...

I never get how to keep from spine breaking with the heavy tomes, it is impossible to read them if you want to get no creases in the spine.

Amy said...

Heh, this is hilarious! I do everything and anything to my books. Break the spine, dog-ear pages, eat and drink while reading, sometimes even mark on the pages. Oh, and by lugging them around on my travels they sometimes get a bit dogeared as well.

BUT that being said, most of my books are still in pristine condition when I am done with them :) Only some are unlucky!

LLM said...

Carin - this Complete Shakespeare is too big to carry around. We have paperbacks for individual plays and those are written in, highlighted, etc.

IntrovertedJen said...

My books rarely look read unless I got them at a used book sale! No cracking spines, no dog earing, no marking... I have a very cool bookmark that has post-it flags on it that I use to mark passages I want to remember. When I'm done, I remove them and you can't even tell they were there! I do read while I'm eating though, but I very, very rarely get anything on the pages. Maybe once every 25 books? I'm completely guessing, but it's very rare. And that's funny because I'm a very messy eater. Crumbs on the table are easier to clean up than crumbs in my books!

Carin S. said...

When I was a kid and teen, the very, very first thing I did when I got a new book was open it to the middle and CRACK that spine. That way, it would stay open with a hairbrush or other implement on it so I could read while brushing my teeth, getting dressed, etc. I read EVERY SECOND that I could. But once I started working in a bookstore, I stopped that. I was buying my own books, I saw how nice books looked on bookshelves that weren't beat to pieces, and also I could borrow books from work but only if I returned them in saleable condition. That really got me to change how to read. Sometimes (especially with ARCs) it's impossible to not break a spine, and I don't beat myself up over it. But I try to keep them nice. I also pass along most of my books and don't want to give books to people that look awful. Those don't seem like gifts anymore, but like cast-offs.

Ti said...

I do not bend my books in any way. All of my books look untouched even after being tossed around in my bag. I place them in Ziplocks to keep them safe :)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I am kind of a book snob. I keep them in lovely condition, maybe not perfect but close to it. If I loan a book out and it comes back ummmm... abused. You will never NEVER get another book from me again.

:)

Carin B. said...

@leeswammes - *GASP* I think you just leaned over the fence to Rikki's side! :)

@Amy - Do Rikki's chinchilla eaten books look pristine to you? The way you described your book habits make me think your books look like the chinchilla eaten books! LOL! I'm glad you got our joke, by the way. We went a little hyperbolic in our arguments I think, but it was hilarious and fun to do. Totally kidding. So do you only do that to books that you love and adore, or do you try to keep the books you love and adore pristine?

@IntrovertedJen - I saw those bookmarks at Barnes and Noble. I almost bought one because I do that to my books too! I love those little sticky tape tabs! I decided just buying them would be cheaper than getting those bookmark replacement tabs though. Are they expensive?

@Other Carin - I think that's when I truly changed too--when I worked in a bookstore. I used to try to read books from there without ruining them and then I wouldn't have to buy them...I usually ended up buying them anyway!

@Ti - Wow...Ziplocs..That's hardcore! You are like Chachic! She will love you and loan books to you!

@Sheila - I'm the same way. I'll buy a book for someone before lending something I want back just in case it gets ruined!

Amy said...

Heh. It really doesn't go by favorite book or not, it goes by where I am reading and how quickly I get through it, usually! So if I have a separate notebook, for example, I write down the page numbers instead of dog-earing the pages. And if I'm reading straight through the book usually comes out in perfect condition. If I carry it around in my purse for a few days it gets a little more beat up. If I take it with me on travels it gets even more beat up. And even though I set books down face down, I rarely actually go so far as to break the spine!

Rikki said...

Judith, ah, I see that you at least got the point, even though you don't do it. It IS convenient.

Amy, you are my kind of woman. Actually, yes, some of my books look pristine, too, after I read them. The range goes from "looks like new" to "ugh, I wouldn't even give that to charity". That's the beauty of it. We are versatile!

Ti, yes, you are in Chachic's team for certain.

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