Monday, July 17, 2017

Well Loved?

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.

8 comments:

  1. Hi Katherine,

    I agree with you that pristine books look appealing and cared for. But I also admit that I have cracked many a book's spine, not because I disliked them, but because I had to put them down for a short period of time and didn't want to close them – in other words, I loved the story so much I needed to get back to it as soon as possible. And sometimes I simply wanted the book to lie open on the table so I could read it in passing as I did other things.

    About dog-eared pages – I never do it myself, and it sometimes annoys me when I see others do it, but I sure like to see people reading any type of book!

    Cat Dubie

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    1. I have to admit I have a cookbook in oversized paperback form that I cracked the spine on so that it would lie flat to make it easier to glance at the directions and ingredients as I was cooking. And this cookbook is definitely well loved. I use it all the time.

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  2. A book is a treasure friend, therefore, I never crack the spines. :) The only ones where I might bend them back are my cookbooks. My bookclub friends hate to borrow my books, since they fear if they return them with cracked spines, folded pages, I'll weep at the damage, lol! Good post, Katherine.

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    1. Hi Mary. My sister will rarely borrow one of my books for the same reason. She doesn't want to worry about cracking the spine etc while reading it. Glad you enjoyed the post. :o)

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    1. Hi Vicki,
      My sister will be happy to hear the "crack the spine" camp seems to be the majority. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. My spines are cracked. I have arthritis and can't hold a book open long so I put it in a book holder. The thing I hate about cracked spines is that they tend to wear out faster and lose their pages.

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    1. Hi Sandra,
      A book holder is a great idea for arthritis. A friend of mine also has arthritis in her hands so she reads more on a tablet than books because she can rest the tablet on a table or in her lap. She says she misses reading actual books. I'll have to tell her about using a book holder. Thanks for stopping by.

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