Day 250-- book care

An editorial in a late-March issue of the New York Times Book Review caught my interest; the author reflected upon some of her experiences with the mistreatment of books. One story included a hotel housekeeper who chastised her for leaving her dog-eared paperback novel folded over on the nightstand, the spine creased to the snapping point.

There are the bibliophiles that keep their books as pristine as possible, and those that let the wear lovingly seep in. I had always been in the former camp; even nicks on the corners of pages or scuffs on the outside jacket made me pout. You don't even what to know what my thoughts were on people that (shock!) wrote in books.

I lent my beloved copy of Flannery O'Connor's collected short stories to a friend in December, and it was recently returned to me (after switching hands several times). It looks like someone ironed six months worth of dust and grime into the now-warped cover, and the pages are thoroughly scuffed.

This would've caused an undue amount of stress a year ago--maybe even several months ago--but now I say, "Good."

I'm still going to take care of my books. But if reading them causes them to take some damage, so be it. This especially goes for books I lend--the entropy suggests that a friend might've actually read it and loved it instead of letting it sit on their nightstand for a month before returning it as an act of guilt.

And I may just start writing in my books.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 5/14/2007 01:03:00 AM,


At 11:06 AM, Blogger James said...

Once upon a laundrymat visit, I returned from the restroom to find someone slamming the book I brought against the coin tray of a washer in order to jam it loose. I was in a state of complete shock. I couldn't even muster anger. I was too confused. I simply waited for the gentleman to be done with his task and then retrieved my poor tome. The paperback spine was cracked several times only in the less common horizontal way.


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