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Thread: How do you treat your books?

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    Registered User shortysweetp's Avatar
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    How do you treat your books?

    I was wondering what everyone thinks is appropriate treatment of a book. Like for me I dont write in them or mark in them in anyway I use bookmarkers I try not to break the spines (sometimes it is unavoidable) I just treat my books with respect seeing that I love them so. The reason I ask is that recently I was accused of not reading a book that I own and let my mother in law read b/c it looked brand new. My father in law was reading it and he marks in his books and writes notes etc, my mother in law takes her to the bath with her and they get wet or they get coffee on them. Right now the book that I lend them is LOST I just cant stand the thought of my poor little book out there lost
    Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you have never met.

  2. #2
    Just another nerd RobinHood3000's Avatar
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    I agree, I try to avoid setting them open face-down, and I won't mark in them or dog-ear them, even if they're scholarly. I don't know why, but it just strikes me as taboo. I don't even use bookmarks--I prefer to just memorize the page number, because I sometimes find the bookmark getting lost or getting in the way.
    Por una cabeza
    Si ella me olvida
    Qué importa perderme
    Mil veces la vida
    Para qué vivir

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    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    money or somthing similarly thin Ill use as a book mark but mostly not even thn. That said my favourite book of them all is falling to pieces (secret garden) but in my defence I got given it when I was 5 or six.

    On the other hadn I have thrown maths books against the wall and jummped on them in temper ocasionally over the years
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    freaky geeky emily655321's Avatar
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    I use bookmarks, but only paper ones. I hate the little metal or plastic ones that clip over a page; they always wrinkle them up and tug at the binding. I would never take a book into the bath or write in it. I have to do that for school, sometimes (write in them, that is), but I always use pencil and go back and erase it after I've written the paper, because I hate, hate, hate getting a book used and finding that someone's scribbled inside. I find it immensely distracting.

    Still, that said, I never manage to keep from dog-earing my books. They all look like well-loved stuffed animals when I'm done with them, because I carry them with me everywhere I go, and I'm too clumsy and careless to keep anything in immaculate condition for long. Text books I'm better at, but the corners are still just a bit softer when I'm done with them.
    If you had to live with this you'd rather lie than fall.
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  5. #5
    Kindly plush cthulhu beer good's Avatar
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    Hardcovers I usually show some respect; I might underline or dogear crucial pages, but no more.

    Paperbacks, on the other hand... I'll break their backs, fold every other page back, write down notes, use the empty pages at the back for a note book, shove them into my backpack, swat flies with them and possibly dump them in the trash afterwards if they're no good. Some people think that's disrespectful... but I kinda like the idea that when I've read a book, that book has been READ. I've physically wrenched every bit of knowledge I can find from it. That particular book becomes a part of my life for the time it takes me to read it. It's like getting the book signed, not by the author but by the reader.
    But the time ain't tall, yet on time you depend
    And no word is possessed by no special friend
    And though the line is cut it ain't quite the end,
    I'll just bid farewell till we meet again.
    - Bob Dylan

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    In libris libertas Aurora Ariel's Avatar
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    shortysweetp,

    Oh, yes I feel much the same!I can't stand ruining any book.I can get very precious with my books- I treat them better than the crystal, Ancestral collectables, kitchen utensils, and furniture!If there ever was a terrible fire, I would take my books, and laptop first; and then try and push my heavy piano out- somehow! I, almost fanatically, like to keep them as perfect as possible.I plan to built up a most extensive library over the years.When I keep on reading one particular book, on subsequent occasions, it will, naturally, become more damage prone.But if it's a library book, then I am not as concerned, as they are usually not in the best condition anyway.I think, eventually, I may run out of room and have no where else to put them all.I have books hiding everywhere.Here, there, sometimes I even surprize myself! I actually wouldn't mind living in a literary museum.Though I collect both fiction, and non-fiction.I'm more than a little obsessed with buying new books.I love the scent of a new book.I've more than once taken poems to bed.Very Delightful! Strangely, I've even dreamed of poems straight after I've read them.Not to mention, conjuring up my own poems in sleep!Yes, I've had some very vivid dreams- come bizarre poetic moments.

    *I always mark any page with white paper- never ink- and write down any important details or notes of reference.My favourite bookmarks are The Penguin Classics ones which I received as a complimentary gift with my purchase ( which was quite extensive BTW- so I have a few of each bookmark that was available).They feature a classic book, picture, and quotes- on both sides.I also love my rainbow unicorn bookmark- with a lovely quote- which I have had for many years.Apart from those ones, I mainly prefer bookmarks with magnificent themes of nature; and seasons, breathtaking flowers, delicious fruit, beautiful butterflies, cute dogs, serene dolphins, spectacular oceans, lush ferns, galloping horses, tranquil lakes, or forest trees.I especially like the bookmark theme of ethereal faeries and otherworldly mermaids as well.
    My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery --always buzzing, humming, soaring, roaring, diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?
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  7. #7
    Just another nerd RobinHood3000's Avatar
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    I'm with Aurora Ariel--I'm a collector myself, and constantly find myself running out of room...
    Por una cabeza
    Si ella me olvida
    Qué importa perderme
    Mil veces la vida
    Para qué vivir

  8. #8
    Registered User shortysweetp's Avatar
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    I too collect books too (maybe that is why i keep them in such good condition) I have about 50 now I know its not a lot but i had to start over after I moved out of my family's house when I turned 18. I left everything behind. and if there was a fire the books would be at the top of the list of things that I would get out. I do use bookmarkers. I actually make my own sometimes. I take a piece of posterboard (thick paper) cut it to the size I want then take a piece of fabric and sew it to the same size. basically making a slipcover for the paper. it is a little thick but hasnt damaged any of my books. I actually made my hubby one that was NY Yankee print. I think its in his Pete Rose book right now. I am thinking of trying several different methods so that I can perfect them.

    thank you all for your input I am glad that I am not alone.
    Trying to forget someone you love is like trying to remember someone you have never met.

  9. #9
    learning IrishCanadian's Avatar
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    I'm all about the bookmarks ... but I alwyas lose them. So lately I've been useing everyhting from scrape paper to bus transfer tickets. I like the tickets the best.
    As for marking the pages ... I've only ever done it once, and it helped me sooo much for the essay I had to write. But I regret it even still because it was such a stellar book. And I only Dogear them when thier not too wonderful ... but most of the time I don't.
    Aww books.
    Irish poets, learn your trade!
    -Yeats

  10. #10
    Drama Queen Koa's Avatar
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    I agree with em about the clips bookmarks, I use paper things, like bus tickets, cinema tickets, anything papery that is in reach when I need it.
    It's also hugely annoying when the spine of the books break, there are some editions which never fail to, bad factory (I'm not sure it makes sense, I mean I have some books from the same publisher and they all broke while I was halfway through them, even the thin ones).
    When I was a child I use to make dog-ears everywhere, but now I stopped...
    I don't mind treating my books in a way that shows they have been through a battle , unless they were very expensive or such...well in the past years I've started to never read a book without a pencil with me, I even had pencils in my pockets at some point when I used to read on the bus. Cos I want to remember the impressions I have while reading and not them down if I feel to and underline lovely bits and now I'm reading a lot in other languages so I write meaning of words over them....
    dead on the inside, i've got nothing to prove
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  11. #11
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    Hey, this is a great thread for this forum.

    First, I'll almost never throw out a book. I've built up a fairly large library, of which I have no place to put them. We have a study that's full and now I've started to store books in plastic storage boxes in the basement. My wife hates this, but this is one of my idiosyncrosies she's got to accept. And when it comes to books, I'm a shopaholic. I always think I have more time to read than I actually do. So I buy books on impulse and never get to them.

    I too will use a pencil (if I own the book, that is) and scribble notes as I go along. Just a habit from college where I needed to locate important passages and jot dot my thoughts. I own it, so I think I should scribble as I please. You never know when you may want to reread something, so you have to build on the original thoughts.

    Never do I dog-ear. Always book marks. Paper or the pencil itself. Sometimes if the book has a paper cover, I will insert the folded flap to hold my place. I usually stop reading at the end of an even numbered page or I finish the paragraph at the top of the odd numbered page.

    One other thing: I hate lending books out. If I do, I never forget, and God help that person if I don't get it back in perfect condition.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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  12. #12
    Registered User Erna's Avatar
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    I think I'm not really nice to my books, especially college books. There I write in sometimes (with pencil) and put them down everywhere.
    Other books get a little bit better treatment, but I mostly have paperbacks and I can leave them open for several days. When I finish a book, you can see that it's been read.

  13. #13
    Metamorphosing Pensive's Avatar
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    To tell the truth, if I have not read the book yet, I will take care of it very much but when I will complete the book, I will not much care about it but it does not mean that I will make drawings on it or I will spoil it because I will give some of them to my friends or cousins.
    I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.

  14. #14
    Poet-Between-Diapers hemial's Avatar
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    Wow - it's interesting to see how differently books can be treated.

    With paperbacks I too have the problem that their backs are broken very soon, since I am a "bed-reader" and it's just more comfortable to read them when they're folded. I do try to carefully fold them, means not to fold them directly in the middle. But as you all know - sometimes it just happens.

    Generally I treat my books like eggs. I have some very old ones (eighteenhundredsomething) and some that are pretty dear to me (e.g. a more than 10cm-thick, old Shakespeare edition containing all his works; this one I would never read in bed ...).

    A significant number of books I saved from their death in the garbage bin. I once found a big bin liner full of books. It was placed by a tree, ready to be collected for being killed on a dump-site. I just took them and found out that there were some real good ones among these about 30 books: a 19th-century French book for school for example.

    Written words on paper (as we call it in Germany) are the most valuable thing mankind has to offer to it's offspring. No matter how old, no matter in what condition a book is - it is in any case and under any circumstance worth keeping it! This is something, even my 3-year old daughter knows.
    A poem's never finished - it's just put aside. -Paul Valerie

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    learning IrishCanadian's Avatar
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    hemial ... I don't think I've seen you around before. I love your signiture and avatar!
    Thats so sad to see books off to the dump like that. I threw out one book in my life and I still regret it slightly. But it turned out to be cheap pornogrophy with a loose plot ... so i had no idea what to do with it ... I recycled it anyway instead of throwing it in the garbage.
    Irish poets, learn your trade!
    -Yeats

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