Confessions of a Reader

Confessions of a Reader 003: I like my books to look used

Hey there again everyone,

I’m sorry I’ve taken my sweet time posting another Confessions of a Reader post. I’ve been getting into the swing of things. Trying to find the time to write my blog posts and film my videos now that I have a computer I can work from regularly.

Today I was going to talk about something that I don’t see many people talking about in the book community and that’s the quality and appearance of our books. Now I know the general consensus is usually that we want our books to remain in pristine condition right? We put them on our shelves and collect them like pretty little trophies that we want to put on display for the world to see. I’ve even seen people use special carrying pouches for books just to ensure they don’t get damaged when they carry them around in their backpacks or purses. I mean why would we want anything less. Our books are our babies right? And we must take care of them as best as we can.

I agree with this when I initially buy my book. I love for my book to be fresh, unbroken spine, crisp flat pages, and the cover in excellent condition. I don’t usually liked to buy used books. Not at this time at least. I don’t want my books to have bonded with anyone else before I get to it. Because essentially that’s what we’re doing when we read our books right? We bond with them.

But as I start reading the book (especially when it’s a book I’m going to read more than once) I actually love seeing the wear and tear on the book. The spine becomes cracked, the pages start to flop around a little bit more, the cover curls at the edges just a bit. In my opinion the book starts to look loved! I love it even more when there are tabs sticking out of the book and when you flip through the pages you see highlights, notes, and post it notes everywhere.

I often peruse Instagram and Pinterest looking for books that have this well loved look. It just makes me happy to see a book with a lot of “love.” Sometimes I feel that when we’re more worried about how the book looks than we are the experience and feels we get from reading them that we are more wrapped up in the materialistic aspect of the book. Instead of viewing the book as an adventure or a journey we instead look at our books like fun little trinkets to show off to others. If I’m acquiring a book just so that it can look “pretty” on my shelf than am I really doing that book any justice. I am really experiencing the book’s fullest potential of what the author wanted to convey when they published it.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting your books to stay in amazing condition. I only wonder if we’re missing out on something when we are more concerned with the appearance of the book than we are with the experiences we get from that book. I know people have different opinions on these matters and I’d love to hear what others have to say.

Do you love for your book to stay in tip top condition or are you more satisfied when it starts to look like it’s been read through and bonded with?

P.S. I’d also like to add that a reader can definitely still bond with a book even if they do want to keep it in perfect condition. There’s no right or wrong way to care for a book!

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