Sunday Salon: Treating Books?

TSSbadge1How do you treat your books?

1. Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?

I read a book in a way that’s most comfortable. I’m not precious about it – if an unbroken spine means I cant get at half the text, then I’ll break it enough to read it.  However, none of my books lie flat on a table

2. Do you use bookmarks? Or do you dog-ear the corners? If you do use bookmarks, do you use those fashionable metal ones? Or paper?

I havent dog eared a corner for years. Neither do I use a metal bookmark primarily as I find them inflexiable and tend to tear pages. The Bookmarks I use are frequently the ones you can pick up anywhere – the promotional ones about books, plays etc you can get for free, the ones you can buy in bookstores as presents or just because they look pretty. Persephone Books also do a lovely line in books, where the bookmarks match the pattern on the inside of the grey cover (so I have been known to text a friend who I realised was in the shop and go “can you get me #25!”)

 3. Do you write in your books? Ever? If you do, do you make small marks, or write in as much blank space as you can find? Pen or pencil? Highlighter? Your name on the front page?

Me? I never put a writing implement to my own books and havent done so for years. Most of the books I have I give away, so I want others to enjoy it without my squiggles. The ones I keep are usually hardbacks or the above mentioned Persephone greys, which are simply too lovely to mark even in pencil. Last Christmas I put my name and the year in the books I gave to nieces as gifts

 4. Do you toss your books on the floor? Into bookbags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?

I never toss them anywhere. How they look after spending a week in a  handbag is a different matter, and some books are never taken into a handbag for that very reason

5. Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?

I rarely do this – only if I know that I’m coming back to a book almost immediately and I havent got a bookmark on me.  If in doubt, I grab a random piece of paper until I find a bookmark!

6. Um–water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort?

I only bathe with paperbacks. Never hardbacks (too heavy) or ebooks (too electronic). Only the paperbacks are cheap enough to replace if lost to the bubblebath.

7. Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?

The majority of books are on bookshelves, in some semblance of order (though my librarian friends argue with me on this point!).  Overspill goes on chairs or tables. I currently have none on the floor

8. Do you make a distinction–as regards book care–between hardcovers and paperbacks?

Not really. Though I am less worried about spines being broken on paperbacks. And i have friends who always remove the dust jackets whilst reading hardbacks, which drives me demented! His take is that the dust jacket is too good to be trashed in carrying it around, mine is that the book is more important than the jacket. We agreed to disagree in the end.

9. And, to recap? Naturally, you love all of your books, but how, exactly? Are your books loved in the battered way of a well-loved teddy bear, or like a cherished photo album or item of clothing that’s used, appreciated, but carefully cared for?

The latter I think. The point of books is that they are there *to be read*. Being on a shelf but never read is just a waste of a good book and a good brain

10. Any additional comments?

No more from me bar that I got this meme via How Do You Treat Your Books? – Patrick’s Place.


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