Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Book Care

Booking Through Thursday

What kind of care do you take of your books? Let's review, shall we?

  1. Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?
  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?
  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?
  4. Do you toss your books on the floor? Into book bags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?
  5. Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?
  6. Um--water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort?
  7. Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?
  8. Do you make a distinction--as regards book care--between hardcovers and paperbacks?
  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?
  10. Any additional comments?
Oh, I am not a polite, considerate reader. I know that because of these questions! I crack books open, whether hard cover or paperback. Without thinking I have cracked library books. It was thoughtless. You can multitask with a book that lies flat. You can also keep your place easier when you don't have a fashionable metal bookmark! And about those bookmarks? Electric bills, pencils: they all work fine. I have even used a strand of hair that I found on my shoulder. It worked!

Yes I write in my books (not library books, not even by mistake). I use markers, pencils, whatever is nearby. I use sticky notes. All over the place. When I run across a book I have sticky-noted, it's pretty fascinating to read what I chose to note!

I toss books everywhere. I don't have a purse, I have a tote. It carries lots of books and papers. It's a bit awkward in public at times, but it works, too. But the books are on the stairs (not too many!), in two milk crates in the bedroom. The bedroom has a basket of books, too, as well as a table with small piles. My car carries textbooks. I tried carrying my personal reading books there but they got too dirty. I need textbooks everywhere and they are big and heavy, so the car is a good place for them.

My books are laid open, face down all the time. Bookmarks can fall out too easily and laying them down on the page I am on is much quicker and easier. The books get wet in the kitchen and bathroom but not because of baths. Reading in a bathtub is very cold! I can't imagine doing such a thing! I suppose if my old house wasn't so drafty I would consider it. But it would be torture.

At times I prefer a hard cover edition of a book. Why? The print. It is bigger. Getting older you know. Sniff. Otherwise, the only ones who prefer hard covers are my daughter's dogs. They think hard cover is a much better chew.

So back to my chewed up, stained, broken books. They are so familiar and comforting because they are full of memories. I sign the inside front cover of every book I own that I read. I write the date that I finish reading it and the place that I finished reading it. I also keep a chronological journal, as Charlotte Bronte did, of all the books I read. I began that list in 1990 and recently migrated this journal to LibraryThing.

LibraryThing is another social networking site with forums, groups, tags, and a huge database of ISBN numbers from the Library of Congress. It is designed so that you can inventory your home library but I use it to catalog the books I have read. You can then see how many LibraryThing members have the book and view other statistics about reading. You can join groups of people with similar interests and use anonymous librarything mail.. I have not gotten that involved in it yet but I like the idea that my book journal is safe. LibraryThing is free for up to 200+ books. A lifetime membership costs around $25.

Well that's it for this week! Thank you for dropping by and I'll see you next Thursday!



  1. I must admit I love my books and look after then really well (I know, I'm the proverbial!). It was something I was brought up to do and let's face it, old habits die hard...

  2. Mine is up. I'm a cross between you and Puss-in-boots above.

  3. I too love my books and handle them with care. Drives the hubby nuts! LOL.

  4. Meeyauw - thanks for the link for Library Thing. I have program to keep all the lists of books I have read or not read know all the details. But I find I'm always need more or something better. I'm going to check out this Library Thing you recommend here :)

    Anyway thanks for visiting my blog! And don't feel bad...all it matter is you LOVE to read :)

    Have a good Day!

  5. I have my own share of stories related to my dog and books. LOL He didn't care if they were hardbacks or paperbacks. They were all fair game. :-) Luckily, he's grown out of that habit though. Now he just likes to steal my shoes and play with them (luckily he doesn't chew them up--although I've got plenty with teeth marks in them).


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