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Do you look after your books?

By / January 10, 2013 / no comments

This started off as an article by Danica and evolved into a dialogue type piece between me (Jon Snow) and her. Does what we talk about remind you of anyone?

Danica: I clearly do not. Jon Snow clearly does. It’s a pretty clear cut line, you lend out your books with a warning do not break the spine or you lend them out with bit of orange juice on the bottom of pages because you were eating an orange at the time (yes, I’ve done that).

Danica’s copy

You dog-ear your pages like Sneaky Burrito, or you wouldn’t dream of doing that to your precious books. We all love to read but it is very clear we all love our books differently.

I think Sneaky Burrito and I are pretty similar on this. She reads while eating, reads in the bathtub and dog-ears pages. My books are the same, and the ones I bought from the second hand bookstore are pretty gross. At first I felt a kind of kinship, reading a book others have read. Although turning a page and finding a stain you can’t identify isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. It gets me thinking, what do we put our books through?

Jon Snow: Blasphemous! Books are a source of knowledge. Should always treat them with respect!

Danica: The major one that freaks me out and I’m sure you can guess, reading on the toilet. Do people even know how many germs are floating about in there!! I just hope people don’t then eat and touch the book  afterwards /shudders.

Jon Snow: Guilty as charged! I don’t see a problem with reading in the toilet. I think germs are quite minimal unless you never clean your bathroom. I mean, you’re pants and clothes are closer to the toilet area than your book. I think it is safe. Although, I never take my hardbacks on the throne.

Danica: Eating while you are reading is the one that effects my books the most, I’ve mentioned the orange juice stains but any kind of food crumbs is pretty unsanitary when you think about it. Greasy pizza stains, I’m ashamed to say, are probably frequently visible on the corners of my pages. Chocolate stains are a another dubious looking one, but sometimes that page just must be turned, even with sticky chocolate fingers.

Jon Snow: Not guilty Your Honour. I must say that I am someone who likes to keep their books in really good condition. The only way to read and eat at the same time is to bend the pages back really far or hold it awkwardly in one hand with the potential to just spill all your food or worse…spill all your food on your book!

Danica: Can you comprehend the kind of havoc a small excited pet can wreak with books left laying around? Talk about ‘losing’ a page. Think of the wear and tear of a poor book laying on the floor while you keep it near at hand. I stepped on my kindle, I could break my neck standing on a book! If books could feel, I don’t imagine they would enjoy me stepping on them.

Jon Snow: The only time I leave books on the floor is when I go to sleep and then the books are under my bed. I’m quite fortunate that my cats don’t bother my books. The only exception is hardbacks on a table when the cats want to go in for a head scratch.

Danica: If you are one of those pedantic types, lending books would be a traumatic experience for you. What if, despite all your warnings, they turn the book over to keep  the page? What if they are reading your book while walking and it rains? Or if they have a tiny bag and you lent them The Way of Kings, or The Name of the Wind? And the beach is so SANDY!

It’s freaking ME out just thinking about it. Good thing this post has ended, I might have been a changed person, I might have even gone out to buy a new copy of A Game of Thrones. Although maybe we should all try and show our books some appreciation? But then again, I can cram in more reading if I eat at the same time. 😛

Jon Snow’s book

Jon Snow: I’m never lending you any books. Anyways. I’m quite pedantic and my friends know it. I don’t lend out my hardbacks unless I know the person and how they treat books. However, if the books are already damaged because I bought them at a second hand book store or market then I’m not so fussed. Books to me serve a few purposes, they are for enjoyment and through osmosis I also gain information; they look great on my shelf and thus make my house look nice.

Books get damaged, wrecked even through no fault of their owners sometimes. I get that, but I think they should always be treated with respect.

About the author

Ben

Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!

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