How Do You Treat Your Books?

A couple of weeks ago I knew I was going to the spa, and I desperately wanted to bring something to read. But, I knew that whatever I brought would get wet, and therefore damaged. This posed a big dilemma, because usually the books I own are the books I want to keep on my bookshelves and keep looking pretty.
So, I decided to go to the bookstore, and buy a YA paperback that normally I would just borrow from the library. This way the cost wasn’t too high because it was a paperback, and I could read it at the spa guilt-free, knowing it didn’t matter if it got damaged. It worked wonderfully, and when I finished the book (which did end up getting pretty water-logged), I got rid of it.
Which of course got me wondering how others treat their books, because I still felt guilty disposing of the book, even if that was the plan all along. I am a librarian, so I definitely know the importance of weeding. With both our books and our movies, my husband and me consistently weed our collections, because honestly…we just don’t have the room to keep everything! As much as I would love to have the Beast’s library, I don’t, so I have to make choices over what I keep and what I get rid of.

Do you keep damaged books? Do keep any books? I keep collector pieces, and books that I loved/liked/enjoyed, even if I know I’ll never read them again. I’m not generally a re-reader, but sometimes just looking at a book cover reminds me of a story, and I have been known to flip to random passages in a book, reading a page or two and letting that glimpse blossom into larger memories of the tale. But, even though I don’t re-read, I definitely keep a lot of my books.
I’ll keep books that have cracked spines or bent pages, but books that are damaged beyond this I don’t usually keep. I am pretty easy on my books when I read…it’s not uncommon for me to finish a book and have it still looking brand-new. I try my best to keep my books from getting too beat up, and because of that, I don’t keep the ones that do (unless it’s a favourite, in which case I may even buy a second copy…I own “reading” copies and “pretty” copies of a couple different titles!)
So what about you? Are you hard on your books? Do you keep a lot of books? Do you weed your collections? Do you ever let your books get soaking wet when you know of the danger beforehand?

One Comment

  • Deshipley

    I hate making a huge mess of anything, and that goes /triple/ for books. I treat those in my care as tenderly as I can manage, wincing if ever they tumble to the floor or a page gets bent. I can't even imagine doing that whole finger-licking page-turning thing (and try very hard not to imagine other readers doing that, else I could never frequent a library again). Some assert that wear, tear, and abuse is a sign of love for books, but I would much rather show my love through gentle protection.

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