I have a thing about books, I guess it's a fairly common thing amongst avid readers. I like to collect them, those close to me are generally fairly supportive of this, although I have had the odd comment like why do you want a book for Christmas when you could have something you could keep and treasure? To which my unspoken answer is 'well that's what i was planning on doing with the book'.
I get fairly upset when I find a book which has been defaced in some way. So here are a few of my personal book bears;
Turning Corners Over
Why? I feel that this really isn't necessary and yet so many people do it!
Personally I don't use bookmarks, I have a nasty habit of taking them out to read and leaving them places. Lucky for me then that I'm capable with very little effort of finding my place in a book, even if in a fit of temper I've put it down for two or three weeks, I did this last year while reading 'A Feast For Crows' and still was able to find my place.
My mother however used to be incapable of this, she's better now than she used to be, but in the day she was a real corner turner! I'm not talking about minor corners and dog ears either, she'd turn those corners so that half a page would have a fold mark through it! When she started to borrow books from me I had to extract promises she wouldn't do this to my books for my own peace of mind. After lengthy discussions on the subject she seems to have reached my viewpoint.
Breaking the Spine
This is one that although I hate it happening I find myself guilty of far too often. I find that it easily happens with large books, and often happens with the more regularly sized ones too. I try and challenge myself to get as few marks down those spines as possible.
I think there are some preventative measures which can be taken, for example not lying your book open, although I do this semi-regularly as people remove my attention from the book I'm reading to another purpose. Another measure which can be taken is using thin rather than fat bookmarks. My sister borrowed my copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, not long after it came out and both me and my mum had read it, and not only did it take her about 3 months to read, but she used a piece of string for a bookmark. At the time it drove me nuts and I can still remember the sense of betrayal I felt. Probably a bizarre reaction, but an honest one. The pain has dimmed with time, but if i loan my sister a book these days I loan a bookmark with it.
Writing in Books
Once again I feel strongly on this point. Why do people write in books? I'd say that there were probably a variety of reasons depending on the person but that there're two main culprits.
Those who don't care enough when they're in school being forced to study. From personal experience they tended to draw faces and genitalia and write rude words. Often they'd find it hilarious, I got very irritated by it!
The other people are those who study so hard that they actually write in the books to help them study. They highlight and annotate to a level bordering the obsessive. Those so studious that all their books 'have notes in the margins', to quote Dirty Dancing. I can see why people do this, but I feel that Post-It's work so so much better!
Personally I've never seriously come across this, but it's the most heinous of the four book bears I have!
Partly I have to admit this is due to the historical and political implications of this action. Too many cultures have been restricted by the burning of books and the restriction of available literature which I more or less put down as the same thing. Most notable are the Nazi's who burned thousands of books written by Jews and other minority groups, as well as those books which didn't promote their own agenda.
It's also however because whilst every person close to me whilst generally supportive of my book obsession they have all suggested I might like to cull them a little by using them for kindling, a suggestion which goes against everything in me.
So there you have it. My Book Bears. Anyone want to share their own?