Today MizB over at Should Be Reading muses over the treatment of books.
She asks: HOW ABOUT YOU? Do you treat books carefully, or do you just treat them as any other object? Do you have certain things you refuse to do with books (write in them, etc)? If so, what are they?
My treatment of books has changed over the years. When I was in my teens, I used to dog ear the pages, no matter whether they were library books or my own. Somehow, I didn't give it a second thought that I was hurting the book or upsetting someone. Somewhere along the line, a librarian friend educated me and I stopped dog earring pages and started using bookmarks. I never wrote in fiction books, but I did in my college books. Mainly because they were mine to do with what I wanted and helped me to remember. I'm a collector of books and still have a few of those college books in the shelves.
Now, I am more respectful of my fiction books and never turn down the pages or leave them lying open and spine up. When father is done reading, he'll just leave the book, open and spine up on the table. I usually go behind him, grabbing a napkin, piece of paper, bookmark if available and mark his place, before closing the book. I'm working on him though to be more careful.
I don't read library books anymore because they are usually marked up, have some weird greasy feel to it or missing pages. I buy all my books now. Sometimes I will take some to our local used bookstore, Book Lovers Cafe for credit. The owner and I actually had a discussion the other day about the condition of the books people bring in. He complimented me on keeping my read books in a pristine condition. He ends up throwing away some because they are in such poor condition. I can't fathom ever throwing away a book. It just goes against the grain.
We have bookshelves in every room of the house, except the bathrooms. I love books and of course, the love of reading goes along with that. I've taught my son to respect books and keep them in good condition.
I don't loan out books, but I do give them away. If someone expresses interest I'd rather give it to them or buy them their own copy to read. That way I don't have to worry if someone is abusing any of my books.
So what about you?