Thursday, February 08, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: TLC

During my visits in the blogsphere, I discovered a fun meme site called Booking Through Thursday. I thought I would try my hand at this week's meme, which poses the question:
What kind of care do you take of your books?

1. Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?
I start off with every intention of being careful with my books, protecting the spines and trying to avoid cracks and creases. On many occasions, my attempts become futile. Eventually, the spines crack or little creases can be felt along the spine of my paperbacks. With hardbacks, they sometimes end up lying flat on my desk as I read.

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 use bookmarks. Failing the presence of a bookmark (maybe my cat ran off with it or it fell between the pillows), I will use a scrap of paper, receipt, or some dry, clean and flat object that can stand in temporarily. I only dog-ear when I'm absolutely desperate. As to the type of bookmarks, I have a nice little collection. I'm especially fond of the paper ones with tassels, but I do like my metal ones too. I don't use the metal clip bookmarks--I haven't found any that don't crease the pages in unacceptable ways.

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?
I rarely write in my books. Occasionally I will mark a passage or quote with minimal pencil marks. If I am loaning a book out, sometimes I will write my name on the inside cover in pencil so that the person doesn't forget who to return it to. I'm more likely to use a sticky note though for both purposes.

On very special occasions, I will write a little something in a book I am giving as a gift. That is usually only to people I know who like that sort of thing. It's a big no-no where my husband is concerned.

4. Do you toss your books on the floor? Into bookbags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?
I am always respectful in the treatment of my books, even as I ease them in my purse (trying to avoid turning up the corners or snagging on something). I have tossed gently a book on the floor. I make it a generak rule not to throw books across the room--not even one I didn't like.

5. Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?
Can I take the 5th on this one?

6. Um--water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort?
I find that taking a shower isn't conducive to reading. I try not to hold books with wet hands or read in the rain, but sometimes it happens unintentionally.

7. Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?
All three. Most are lined up on the bookshelves as neatly as I can get them, but I do have several crammed on top of those neat rows. Our guest bed in my TBR room is covered with books right now, and there's a few stacked in a pile on the floor. I also have a box and a couple of bags full.

8. Do you make a distinction--as regards book care--between hardcovers and paperbacks?
I suppose I am a little rougher with paperbacks, but I cannot say that is my intention. I find that I am a lot more careful with newer books than I am with used books that I obtain that already show wear and tear.

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?
I think my books fall in an inbetween category. Over the years I have noticed that I went from being the kind of person who preserved my books as if they were museum pieces to sliding into being more of the type of person who doesn't mind the well-loved teddy bear approach. I still aim to be careful and keep my books neat and clean, but I do not get upset or worry too much when a favorite novel begins to show signs of love because of frequent contact.

10. Any additional comments? I am especially gentle with books that are loaned to me--they aren't mine, and I want to give them back in the condition they came in. One of my pet peeves is receiving back a book I loaned to someone in very tattered and worn shape when that is not how it looked when I first handed it to him or her.

Don't forget to leave a link to your actual response in the comments--or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!


  1. Here is mine:
    It looks like your challenges are going well. I'm through 3-1/2 classics but the clock is ticking. I also have two I want to write reviews on.
    I have a Macdonald book on my list. I loved Wally Lamb and it wasn't as much of a Chunkster as it looked, it was such a good read.

  2. Oh this was fun. I have to use bookmarks too but you are right, the metal clippy ones always leave those horrible marks.

  3. I wonder if we were all taught by our parents to treat books with this respect?

  4. Sarala - I feel like I'm right on track with the challenges. Let's hope it stays that way! I just received a bookring book in the mail and I'm wondering where I'm going to fit it in . . . I'm counting on the Wally Lamb book not feeling like a "chunkster". :-)

    Jenclair - I'm having fun reading everyone's answers!

    Illiana - I've tried the plastic clippy ones that come in all sorts of neat designs, but they don't work well for me--they always fall off.

    Meeyauw - Thanks for stopping by! I think my respect for books did come from my parents who have quite a collection of books themselves.

  5. Hey there...I just wanted to let you know that I moved my blog to Blogger (instead of tagworld) and I am now focusing on just books! I just wanted to let you know so you can update your blog roll!

  6. Great meme, Wendy - I enjoyed reading your responses! I used to write in my books (a lot). I would highlight, write cryptic notes in the margins, scribble foot notes etc. but then I discovered "bookcrossing" (a book swapping site) and out of respect for my fellow bookcrossers I stopped! But apart from that, I look after my books really well and am more partial to hard covers, they look better on my bookshelf! ;)

  7. Oh, it was fun reading your responses to this meme! Deb's site usually has some good questions.

    Reading in the shower? Never even thought of it. But don't you read in the bathtub? Not a bathtub person?

  8. Lotus - Thanks! Making notations in books is relatively a new habit of mine, and it tends to be only to make an arrow to the line I want to draw attention to ( I then make reference to it in my reading journal). I love reading other people's notes when I'm purusing a used book. It's fun to see what other people thought was significant. I don't mark up my bookcrossing books either. Only the keepers.

    Carrie K - Thank you! I plan to visit Deb's site often.

    Yes, I am completely and utterly a shower person. I don't like baths. I find them really uncomfortable.


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