I read a book recently that described a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves. The shelves were packed and included books ranging from expensive leather bound editions to paperbacks. The paperback books were described as having lines on their spines from being cracked and read so much that it was obvious they were well loved.
My reading of the scene came to a screeching halt. "Well loved?" I thought. Or maybe not loved enough to have proper care taken with them.
You see, I was brought up that if you loved something, you took good care of it. This ranged from toys to books to shoes and clothing. For example all of my shoes (except running shoes/sneakers) go back into the boxes with the toes stuffed with tissue paper just like when you first purchased them. And books...You didn't crack the spine by laying it flat face down or opening it too wide, you didn't fold the corner of the page to mark your spot. All of the paperback books that I have purchased, loved, and kept over the years look brand new as though they were just bought the day before.
My sister says I've taken the "take good care of your belongings" rule to the extreme when it comes to books. Her books all have cracked spines, some have stains where she accidentally dripped coffee on a page. Some have pages that have come loose that she's taped back into place. She says that people know by looking at her books that they are well read and loved.
What do you think? Do you fall into the "cracked spine, dog-eared pages" equals well read and loved camp? Or do you fall in the "keep like new or in good condition" equals well read and loved camp?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.