The other day I was talking to some friends about how we treat our books. Turns out, everybody had a different set of rules on the matter. One person was against putting an open book face down on a surface to mark a page, something that I often do, especially when I just have to leave the room for a quick second. Another was against making notes or marks inside of a book. (We’re talking about personal books, of course—library books should never be marked in.)
In general, I am quite laid back about my books. Some of the things I’ll do to my books would make any librarian cringe. I love underlining (usually with a pencil) and taking notes in the margins. Even coffee stains don’t bother me, and often give a book that “lived-in” quality for me. That is also one of the reasons I almost always prefer ratty paperbacks over pristine hardcover editions—its bendability gives it a cozy feel. I find it hard to curl up in bed with a big honking hardcover with all those edges jabbing at me.
That said, I do have my limits as well. I don’t like dog-earing pages, and while I’ll make liberal marks in a book, I cringe at marks made with a pen or highlighter (reminds me too much of college textbooks). Do you have any book pet peeves? Do you keep your books in pristine condition, or do you prefer a much-loved book with creases on the spine? Please share in the comments section.