I treat my books like small endangered pandas, which means that I treat them with the utmost care.
If I lend you a book and you bend the corners, or scribble in the margins, break the spine, or heaven forbid if it comes back with coffee stains… then you’re on my black list. To help prevent these things from happening I’ve created the book borrowing commandments.
Thou shalt not dog ear my pages.
Thou shalt not highlight my words.
Thou shalt not take my book in rain.
Thou shalt not kill the binding.
Thou shalt not steal!
Thou shalt not leave food crumbs pressed into the pages.
Thou shalt remember the due date.
Thou shalt honour thy promise of no scribbles in the margin.
Do you have your own set of rules? What are your pet peeves about book care?
For me the rule remains: leave it as you’ve found it. If it’s already been dog-eared, then that’s fine, if it’s replete with a snack saved from last week, then much away. If it’s pristine, then pristine it should remain.
For my own books, I am generally none too picky. I constantly dog ear pages and I’ve taken to scribbling all over them (usually in pencil). But that’s because they’re mine. I can’t immerse myself fully if I’m constantly being careful not to crinkle anything. Other people’s books are held to a very different standard.
I like your rule of leave it how you found it. And it is definitely important to make sure that the book you borrow looks like it did when you first received it.
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