When I loan out books, more than one person has said to me – well, it probably won’t look like this when you get it back.
I understand. When most people finish reading a book, it looks like it’s been read.
Me … not so much.
If I can help it there is no broken spine (that already just sounds so violent to do to something I respect so much), probably no worn corners (unless it did A LOT of traveling on subways and such in my bag), and certainly no folded pages (except for one, and really only one in my whole collection that I can remember, exception – the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver).
For whatever reason, I keep my books looking pristine.
In all honesty, I have never made the conscious decision to make my books look like they are, for the most part, unread (and trust me, there are times before the book journal and blog that I wish my read books showed a little more wear – I sometimes forgot what had or hadn’t been read).
I think there is something beautiful in a “broken in” book – well-worn is well-loved, right?! I see the act of people wearing in a book a sign that they have really taken ownership of it, made it their own. It’s fantastic to browse through a used bookstore and see the yellowed, dog-eared paperbacks lining the shelves waiting to be picked up and placed on new bookshelves.
And while I might add some of these used bookstore finds to my shelf, for the most part someone coming to my home, browsing my shelf would probably think I am just a book collector who hasn’t even opened the books on the shelf.
So should I make my mark on the shelf, crack the spine to lay claim to my book and show that “I have been here.” I just don’t know if I will ever be able to break the non-breaking habit.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Do you break the spine and/or fold pages in your books?