The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Revive a Dead Thread > How badly have you treated books?

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message 1: by Eve (last edited Aug 23, 2009 09:31PM) (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) I am guilty of being careless with my books - dog-eared pages, tea stains, chocolate smudges - I have pretty much put my books through a variety of humiliations. How about you?

Take the POLL and/or list other methods of sadism not mentioned.

I'm curious to see if anyone is as horrendous a reader as I am.

There's probably a special circle of hell for me where I'l be dog-eared, my surface scribbled with notes, and spilled hot coffee on for eternity...


message 2: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I'm really pretty careful with my books. I buy a lot of used books, but I take good care of them. I wouldn't DREAM of writing in books, I always use bookmarks (no dog-ears for me) and I do my best not to spill or smudge. I do, however, lay them open face-down to keep my place from time to time. *blush*


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 413 comments You sound just like me Becky....my friends on the other hand are majorly guilty of book abuse to the worst degree!!


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (lmorris) | 91 comments I write in, dog-ear and lay books open and face-down. not usually novels though only non-fiction when I feel like there is something there I want to be able to find quickly or remember.
Although, I've also been known to write my arguements with the author in the margins...


message 5: by Felina (new)

Felina I write in my books or underline/highlight only if I know I'm keeping the book. On bum days I like to go through my favorite books and read my favorite passages.

But I don't dog ear or allow my books near food. I also think its a sin to fold a paperback book cover to cover. *shutters* I recently got a package from Barnes and Noble where one of the books had inadvertantly been packaged with its back cover bent. I'm reading that book now and every time I touch it I feel that bend and it drives me crazy.


message 6: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Hi, my name is Stephanie and I'm an abuser.

I fell in love with Books when I was very young- which doesn't excuse my bad behavior. But I do realize that this ongoing love affair has been one-sided - Books does all the giving and I do all the taking. Sure, I take Books wherever I go- cafes, parks, buses, vacations. More often than not, I fall asleep with Books in my arms. Books is in my lunch bag at this moment. Should I need companionship, Books is always there for me, to be whatever I want Books to be - clever, spritual, comforting, adventurous, and always entertaining. Ever generous, Books has never complained - but the marks of abuse are undeniable- the bent pages, the scribbles, the stains. I try to hide my shameful secret by shoving Books in a shelf, but the guilt is overwhelming me.

Forgive me, Books. I will try to love you better in the future.


message 7: by Bhumi (new)

Bhumi | 524 comments I try to be super careful with my books, especially ones that I really like. And if someone else bends a page or rips it (gasp!), I get pretty annoyed.


Petra X on hiatus (or trying to be) (petra-x) Stephanie wrote: "Hi, my name is Stephanie and I'm an abuser...."

ROFLMAO

If I read when I eat then the book gets its share. If I read in bed then the book stays in pretty good shape. I always have a travelling book that is in my bag and that one usually looks pretty tatty.




message 9: by Liz (new)

Liz I write in my academic books, becuase when you need a pssage for an essay and you can't find it it's a pain in the rear. My non-academic books get a bit more respect, but they like to come many places with me so the spine cracks and the corners of the covers might be a teeny bit bent.


message 10: by Amy (new)

Amy (signgirlamy) | 32 comments I write in my academic books, but that's about it.

The books I buy to read for pleasure generally don't look like anyone has read them once I'm finished. I don't dog-ear pages, crease the binding (unless it's a big book and I have no choice), write in them or anything.

My parents and boyfriend actually refer to me as the "book Nazi" because I will let people borrow my books only if they agree to treat the books as I would. I don't know if that's possible though, because my dad always returns books with creased bindings.

My boyfriend and I went to B&N a couple weeks ago and bought a ton of books (he had just found a $200 gift card lying around - that would be a dream come true for me!). When we got home, he took one of his books and opened it all the way and made a huge crease in the binding. It made me cringe.


message 11: by vicki_girl (new)

vicki_girl | 89 comments I've gotten the "Book Nazi" label also. I'm extremely careful and mine also look un-read. For books that I carry with me, I bought book covers (like they have to go over Bibles). That keeps them from getting damaged in my purse.

And I don't loan my books. If I think someone will like it, I buy them a copy. If I'm really broke though, I just keep talking about it till they get a copy themselves. :)


message 12: by JSou (new)

JSou Amy wrote: When we got home, he took one of his books and opened it all the way and made a huge crease in the binding. It made me cringe.

Yikes, Amy! That gave me the heebie-jeebies just reading that! It's good to know I'm not the only one that hates creased bindings! They just look so much prettier sitting on the shelf without all those little white lines.

vicki_girl wrote: For books that I carry with me, I bought book covers (like they have to go over Bibles). That keeps them from getting damaged in my purse.

That is brilliant Vicki! I can't believe I never thought of that. I am totally stealing your idea! :) I always carry a book in my purse, but hate how the edges sometimes get beat up from getting tossed around in there.




message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen (wishesandwanderlust) I'm usually pretty nice to my books. I only carry a book in my purse if I'm going to work, or know that I'll be waiting somewhere (like at the doctor's office). I never fold the edges, that drives me crazy.

Only text books get written in and highlighted.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I am extremely anal about my books but have unfortunitly spilled food or drink on a few. Not intending too.


message 15: by Robin (new)

Robin (robincarlton) | 21 comments I'm another whose books look brand new when I'm done.

Outlander and City of Glass got splashed this summer out by the pool though and every time I see their rippled pages on the shelf I cringe.


message 16: by Marci (new)

Marci (iread49) | 215 comments I do not dog ear, I try not to spill food but my book are well worn from going everywhere with me. My sisiter reads a book and it looks brand new.


message 17: by El (new)

El I once had a spill of my Chinese food that was in my bag, and so it got soy sauce all over The Beet Queen A Novel. I still haven't managed to read the book because I feel so bad about what happened to it! :)


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) In another group that I am in, we have a thread called OCD for books. It is my favorite thread, and we talk about these kind of things all of the time.


Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments I read an article once where the author talked about "loving" your books. He said something to the effect of "if they aren't marked, marred, and falling to pieces by the time you are done; you haven't sufficiently loved the book" I find I agree to a certain extent. I like to make notes and underline. Sometimes highlight. My books go everywhere with me so they usually are pretty dinged up and a little frayed around the edges. I do try not to break the spine too much. Rebinding is time consuming and kind of difficult. But I do love some of my books almost to pieces.


message 20: by Mary (new)

Mary (madamefifi) | 358 comments Hi, I'm Mary and I'm a book abuser. I can't help it! For one thing I like to read in the bathtub. Water and books, not such a good combo. Also, we have ten cats and you know how cats like to gnaw on book corners and otherwise molest the pages when they are not receiving enough attention.


message 21: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10025 comments Mod
Stephanie wrote: "Hi, my name is Stephanie and I'm an abuser.

I fell in love with Books when I was very young- which doesn't excuse my bad behavior. But I do realize that this ongoing love affair has been one-si..."



Stephanie, that was beautiful.. but oh so painful to read :)



message 22: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10025 comments Mod
Ok, so I tend to be anal too. I won't crack a spine, and its hard for me to buy a used book thats cracked up too.. although if it is the only copy and I want it really badly, I will take it home with me and show it what REAL book love is like :)

I dont dog ear, I hate to lend out, and while I will take a book into the bath, I am extra careful to fully dry my hands and keep it well above the water line.

No food or drink near the books, no writing in the books either. My school text books, yeah - I would highlight in them becuase otherwise I would never be able to find the important stuff to study for the test :) but never EVER in a book I read for pleasure.




message 23: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Abigail wrote: "I read an article once where the author talked about "loving" your books. He said something to the effect of "if they aren't marked, marred, and falling to pieces by the time you are done; you have..."

Which author was this? I would like to read his work! That is the perfect expression "love to pieces." Two of my favorite books I have as a paperback and as a hardcover. The hardcover ones are pristine and handled rarely. The paperback ones are falling apart, well-worn, and easily picked out as the ones I've read and re-read many times over.


message 24: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Mary wrote: "Hi, I'm Mary and I'm a book abuser. I can't help it! For one thing I like to read in the bathtub. Water and books, not such a good combo. Also, we have ten cats and you know how cats like to gnaw o..."

Water and books go much better than say water and electricity. That's one thing I should have put in the poll, as well as using a tower of books as a place to set your tea (which theoretically could lead to tea stains in the precarious future) and books as doorstoppers.
One thing I've never actually done is read in the bath. I've written in my journal and have the runny pages to prove it.


message 25: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Lori wrote: "Ok, so I tend to be anal too. I won't crack a spine, and its hard for me to buy a used book thats cracked up too.. although if it is the only copy and I want it really badly, I will take it home wi..."

I have to explain the writing in books part - sometimes I argue with the author - "What kind of existential bu@@$@#$#t is this?!" or agree ecstatically - "Right on!" or simple praise when a sentence or idea is so beautiful and important that it inspires me.


message 26: by Sara ♥ (last edited Aug 26, 2009 10:42PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) Lori wrote: "Ok, so I tend to be anal too. I won't crack a spine, and its hard for me to buy a used book thats cracked up too.. although if it is the only copy and I want it really badly, I will take it home wi..."

Ditto all of that. Except for reading in the bathtub. I don't understand the appeal of bubble baths... Can't remember the last time I took one. Tubs aren't comfortable! But whatever. I've been known to crank an audiobook while I'm in the shower... ;)

Anyway, I HATE lending my books, because I'm so anal. I had to show my sister how to hold a paperback so you can feel if you're starting to get a crease in the spine. She complains, saying, "Books are meant to be read!" and I respond, "Yeah, but I'd prefer to be able to read them over and over without them falling apart!"

And the only writing that belongs in a book is an author signature. Period.


message 27: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10025 comments Mod
Sara, for me, its a super hot bath, book, and three motrin.. that is my cure for a headache!!!



message 28: by Sara ♥ (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) Lori wrote: "Sara, for me, its a super hot bath, book, and three motrin.. that is my cure for a headache!!!"

Ahh... Well, I suppose if it's medicinal... ;) I usually go with 2 Excedrin® Migraine and/or a nap in a cold, dark, and silent room.


message 29: by Sara ♥ (last edited Aug 26, 2009 10:58PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) Ronna wrote: "Sara wrote: "Lori wrote: "And the only writing that belongs in a book is an author signature. Period."

A.M.E.N.!!! I have a few books that are signed by authors. Now those, I don't care if you negotiate or plead to my, those are NEVER to be lend."


NO. NEVER. I will BUY you another copy of the book before I will lend you my signed one.


message 30: by Abigail (42stitches) (last edited Aug 26, 2009 10:59PM) (new)

Abigail (42stitches) | 360 comments Stephanie wrote: "Abigail wrote: "I read an article once where the author talked about "loving" your books. He said something to the effect of "if they aren't marked, marred, and falling to pieces by the time you ar..."

Since you asked...I went and found it. I read it in
Stephen Reid 's Purpose and process: A Reader for Writers 5th ed. The actual author was Mortimer Adler and the article was "How to mark a Book."


message 31: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Abigail-

Thanks! What an intriguing title--



message 32: by Dan (new)

Dan (chaoticbuffalo) Lori wrote: "My school text books, yeah - I would highlight in them becuase otherwise I would never be able to find the important stuff to study for the test :) but never EVER in a book I read for pleasure."

Lori,

When I read this, the analogy popped into my head that textbooks are like acquaintances but the books you read for pleasure are like best friends. I no longer have any of my "acquaintances" from school but most of my "best friends" from that time of my life are still with me.




message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm kind of in the middle with this topic. I'm not quite a book abuser but I definitely don't treat them as they should. I highlight in books so I can go back and read the things I once thought were great. When looking at my bookshelf you'll also notice a pattern. Big books have been done the most damage while little books nearly look brand new. Books are to be enjoyed! A dented up book is much more comforting than a hard, shiny new book. Slightly damaged books have more character. The more damage that is done to your books the better. When you go to look at it years later you can reminisce. Example: My copy of Pride and Prejudice is slightly bent and battered because I brought it on a cruise ship and dropped it while chatting with a strange boy I met. I'll always have that silly memory linked with that book.. :)


message 34: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10025 comments Mod
I like that Dan. Good analogy!


message 35: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Lindsay wrote: "I'm kind of in the middle with this topic. I'm not quite a book abuser but I definitely don't treat them as they should. I highlight in books so I can go back and read the things I once thought wer..."

I like that! Books that have memories of their own outside of what how you felt when you were reading them. Your memory associated with Pride and Prejudice was very fitting.




message 36: by Claire (new)

Claire | 30 comments I'm pretty anal with my books - I don't fold back, dog-ear, write or anything in them. Keeping the spines from getting cracked is difficult - I do try to avoid it though. I love having my books in good shape. Some of my books (the ones I've read multiple times like Harry Potter) show a bit of wear which I don't think is a bad thing...

About 10 years ago I lent my copy of Crime and Punishment to a friend, and it came back all dog eared, the front cover creased and felt like my heart had been broken (it's one of my favourites!) so needless to say I've never lent her a book since.


message 37: by Diane (last edited Sep 04, 2009 12:11PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Sara ♥ wrote: "Ronna wrote: "Sara wrote: "Lori wrote: "And the only writing that belongs in a book is an author signature. Period."

A.M.E.N.!!! I have a few books that are signed by authors. Now those, I don't c..."



Oooh, I feel so much better after having read that post. I don't ever like to lend my books out either - but an autographed copy - no way! I would rather buy you a new copy too :))

I'm pretty good with my books, only use bookmarks, never dog-ear. NEVER lay them face down while open (ouch). But I do get them a little banged up by carrying one around everywhere.

I never mark in them, but it's so funny because if I get a used book, I LOVE to read what the prior owner might have written about a specific part of the book.

My partner, on the other hand, treats books like gold!

In reply to MARY with her 10 cats - I'm jealous you have so many ... years ago 1 of our cats, Mr. Bond, KNAWED through the SPINE of a James Patterson book. Patterson came to town and wrote in that book for us "To Mr. Bond, Good Kitty, James Patterson" ... good kitty indeed because we bought a new copy !




message 38: by Unbridled (new)

Unbridled Books (unbridledbooks) | 6 comments What a great topic! I've always been obscenely careful with books. No broken spines, no dog-eared pages, no underlining or highlighting. In fact, you couldn't really tell I had read the book.

That's changed a bit since my son was born. For a while I didn't have time to read, and then before I knew it he was old enough to carry my books around. He's now 16 months old and quite rough with my books... and surprisingly, I DON'T CARE! I have a copy of Infinite Jest (which I thought would be too big/heavy for him to carry) that is getting beat up something terrible. And paperbacks definitely have it the worst. I never understood the point of paying more for hardcover, but now I do... Still, I don't want any books to be off-limits to him, so I try to teach him to be gentle. Hopefully that catches on soon!


message 39: by Tara (new)

Tara (tbm126) | 274 comments Claire wrote: "I'm pretty anal with my books - I don't fold back, dog-ear, write or anything in them. Keeping the spines from getting cracked is difficult - I do try to avoid it though. I love having my books in ..."

Same here. My books are in pristine condition (and the paperbacks aren't bad either). Subconsciously, I only open my books just enough to be able to read the words. I never leave them lying open. I take covers off of hardcover books so they are not damaged. If they have to be packed, I make sure that no bending of pages or corners is possible. It's to the point where most of my friends refuse to borrow my books, because they're afraid of returning them.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I can't dog ear pages - it just feels wrong. But there is an occasion where I start a new book and I have nothing to use to mark the page!

The only time I properly write in my books is when they are stuff for school or the like. A lot of my HSC stuff I ended up selling on to the next year so I figure the notes I wrote were helping people in the long run ... even if I was hurting the poor book!


message 41: by Tara (new)

Tara (tbm126) | 274 comments Sophie wrote: "I can't dog ear pages - it just feels wrong. But there is an occasion where I start a new book and I have nothing to use to mark the page!"

Haha, that's when I actually write down what page I am on or try to remember. I physically can't dog-ear my books.

And as for writing in my books, I outright refuse. I don't know what my new teachers will think or make me do to my books, but as of last year, I told my teacher that I wouldn't write in my book. I did the class work and wrote all the notes and pages down in my notebook. It didn't really affect my studying.


message 42: by Jaclyn (last edited Sep 08, 2009 10:58AM) (new)

Jaclyn (jaclynr0806) | 88 comments Mary wrote: "Also, we have ten cats and you know how cats like to gnaw on book corners and otherwise molest the pages when they are not receiving enough attention..."

Mary, I love your comment about your cats "molesting" your books. I have 2 cats and they do their best to gnaw the corners to get my attention too, but one of them will also do her best to climb on top of the book whenever I am reading and will just lay right on top of it. It cracks me up when she does this b/c it's such a deliberate cry for attention, like she's jealous b/c I'm paying attention to the book instead of her!

I try to take good care of my books in general, some of the bindings get creased when they're too tightly bound in the first place and difficult to read otherwise (especially the larger ones), but in general I like my books to look new when I'm done if I can help it - they look nicer on the shelf that way. I rarely mark in my books, but there have been a few times that I've been known to highlight an especially great passage in a book that I want to remember and be able to find easily at a later date.

I've recently loaned a few of my books to my friend/neighbor though (even a couple I haven't gotten to read yet myself) and she takes them to the pool. A couple of times she's brought my brand new book back with wrinkled pages! I haven't the heart to say anything to her though, so instead I'm going to take the passive/aggressive route and just stop lending her my books. I'm such a wimp!


message 43: by Tammy AZ (new)

Tammy AZ (tammyaz) I treat my books differently depending on the book. I only dog-ear books if I own them & then I never dog-ear hardbacks, only soft covers. Other then that I treat my books fairly well, I don't write in them (except for textbooks that I highlight the crap out of), bend the cover back (shudder), or read them in the bathtub - that's reserved for magazines!


message 44: by Claire (new)

Claire | 30 comments I can't even write in textbooks!!


message 45: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (sbez05) | 556 comments I don't write in or dog-ear any of my books but they go everywhere with me, so some of them definitely end up looking "loved." That is especially true of books I take on vacation or to the beach. I don't mind wear and tear, though. I get most of my books used to begin with, and I actually think that "used" look is a good sign that the book has been read and enjoyed! I would never intentionally mark a book I read for pleasure though. I had a hard enough time even marking up my textbooks when I was in school. Of course, to mark them up I would have had to open them first, so maybe that's why. ;)


message 46: by Leila (last edited Sep 09, 2009 02:36AM) (new)

Leila (leilasbooks) Well, one of my mathbooks took a very bad beating XD I carried it with me almost everyday and well, it was just so very used and by the time I graduated it, it had dog-ears and it looked several years old. There weren't that many writings in it. I almost never write in my textbooks and if I do, it's with a pencil :)

However, one of my favourite books Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit doesn't look nice :( I used it in a research essay and there are so many post-it notes and highlighted text that it makes my heart ache. It looks like a rainbow! It was unfortunately necessary because there was so many things that I needed to take note of or memorize or just go back to and writing in another notebook would have been way too time-consuming.




message 47: by Darcia (new)

Darcia Helle (darciahelle) I get queasy when I read the title of this thread. Treat my books badly? I think I treat my books better than I treat my husband! :))


message 48: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Jaclyn wrote: "Mary wrote: "Also, we have ten cats and you know how cats like to gnaw on book corners and otherwise molest the pages when they are not receiving enough attention..."

Mary, I love your comment a..."


Tee hee, Jaclyn, love your first paragraph. Yes, it is as though they are "jealous" of the book. One of mine, the girl who is my profile pic, does the same thing.


message 49: by Denise (new)

Denise Mary wrote: "Hi, I'm Mary and I'm a book abuser. I can't help it! For one thing I like to read in the bathtub. Water and books, not such a good combo. Also, we have ten cats and you know how cats like to gnaw o..."

Mary, I laughed when I read your introductory line, I felt like I was at an AA meeting or something. I used to read in the bathtub, so I totally know what you mean about the water, even though I would keep a dry washcloth on the side of the tub to wipe my hand before turning the page. I have to admit though that as a cat lover and having had cats in my house forever I have never had a cat do anything to damage a book (certainly not gnaw on one). My oldest cat, Sammy (I lost him on December 8, 2008--he was 16, I miss him so much) anyway, Sammy would always have to put his scent on a book I was reading. He would rub the corner of his mouth on the edge of the book. It was the funniest thing. He did it once and then not until I would get another book and then he'd do it to that book. Very weird. But that is all he would do and it didn't damage the book at all.

I used to fold down the pages when I was a kid. I don't anymore, ever. I do lay a book flat open sometimes. I eat while I read and do once in a while get something on the book, omg I hate when that happens.

I get books from the library all the time and I am always trying to clean them up. Does anyone else do that? If there is food or whatever stuck to the page I gently scrape my finger nail over it and try to get it off. If I find a book page is torn or damaged I will point it out to the librarian so they can send it to repair otherwise they might have to pull it and get rid of it. I erase pencil marks on library books. I think that is so disrespectful of people to mark in a library book. Do what you want to your own books because they are yours but the library's books are not yours.

My pet peeve is a book with a cover. I usually end up taking it off while I read the book otherwise it invariably gets little tears in it.

I am guilty of bending the spines and creasing them. It is hard not to on a thick book.

The only books I write in or underline in or highlight are books I buy to study a subject and I have been trying to break myself of that habit. I now keep notebooks to take notes in which cuts down writing in the books. I have bought used books that are highlighted and it drives me nuts because it never fails that whatever the previous owner highlighted or underlined is not what I would have highlighted or underlined.

I hate loaning books because I never get them back. I loaned a whole bag of Carolyn Hart books to a friend who wanted to read the Death on Demand series. This friend is in her 70's. When I next went to visit I asked if she was done with my books and she had given them away. I about had a heart attack.

Also, my significant other once took two of my books to work because a person where he worked was interested in a particular subject that he knew I had a bunch of books about. He then got transferred to another place and I never got those two books back. I have threatened him with bodily harm if he ever does that again. Some books that I like to recommend I will buy several used copies and if they don't come back that is okay. Otherwise I pretty much don't loan a book unless it is one that I am willing to part with.


message 50: by Katie (new)

Katie Denise wrote: " I erase pencil marks on library books. I think that is so disrespectful of people to mark in a library book. Do what you want to your own books because they are yours but the library's books are not yours."

I totally agree, Denise. Writing in borrowed books is so not cool. I think we need to get you a mask and a cape if you're going to go around rescuing books like that, though.

I usually buy used books, so sometimes they already have dog eared pages, hidden stains or a cracked spines. I usually reject any book for with a cracked spine, unless I really want to read it and it's hard to find.

I love recommending and loaning books, but I do get a sick feeling in my stomach when turning over a book to an abuser. I have one friend, in particular, who lends me his books that are all crumpled and stained and sad looking. He gets rid of them when he's done, so I guess he doesn't understand the appeal of keeping them looking nice. I want to share with him, too, but it's really hard! Whenever I loan a book, I end up worrying about it until it comes back. When they come back injured there is always short period of mourning.

I'm really not that materialistic. It's better that the book gets shared and re-read, right? Like the Velveteen Rabbit--that's how it becomes real. ***sigh*** I just wish I could share with people who don't crack spines.


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