I am a book lover. I don’t just mean that I love to read books: I love the actual book. I love the feel of a book in my hand. I love turning pages as I read. More often than not, I have picked out and bought a book because of its cover.
Do I try to take care of my books? Yes. But I am careful with them? No.
THE BAD: TBR books and recently read books live in stacks around my bedroom (every surface is basically book storage in loose organization: books I’ve read are together, and books I want to read are together). I pile the stacks high and if one topples, I just tend to start smaller stacks. I read in bed and oftentimes there is a book (or two) on the bed or under the pillow. I always have a book with me, and if I’m going to be away from home for any length of time (and there may be an opportunity to read) I throw the book in my bag. I’ve read books in the bath, and on the beach. The pages can get a little … damp, and sandy.
THE UGLY: When I read a hardcover book I never leave the dust jacket on. I take it off and it often ends up on a book stack … and then flattened if I forget it’s there and drop another book on the stack. Then there’s the worst crime of all: I forget to put the jacket back on the book. These books remain naked, with no jacket because I either lost, threw out or otherwise destroyed the jacket.
I almost never read a book sitting at a table or a desk. I like to read on my couch with a cat in my lap or in bed curled up under the blankets. Because of this …. I tend to break spines when I read. And finally, PIP! and Sam are both young and adventurous and interested in anything I am interested in. And by interested I mean they are jealous of things I give my attention to. They show their interest by … taking a good bite out of the book. More than a few of my books have tooth marks in them now.
THE GOOD: I never, under any circumstance, EVER do the following: fold down a page to mark my place, highlight, underline or write in books. I like to read a clean page. I don’t eat while reading a book (so nothing spills on the pages) and I don’t use my books as door stops or paperweights or put them in any real danger.
I am a book lover. If you want to know what my favorite books are you just have to look at my shelves. My reading life story can be told just by looking at the books. Is the cover pristine, spine perfect? I haven’t read it yet. Does the book show signs of being read but is still in pretty good shape? I read it, and like it – but I don’t love it. I haven’t gone back to it. Is the spine fully broken? The pages looking rough around the edges? The cover coming away at the seams? Then you have found one of my favorite books. A book I have read many times. A book I have gone back to again and again, whether it’s to do a full reread or just to revisit a favorite scene or two. If you see a book like that in my home you don’t need to ask if I liked it … the book speaks for me.