Topics/Discussion

Marks on Your Books

When it comes to my books, the books that I treasure, I want them in great condition. Especially when it comes to the outside. But as I was thinking about it, not all marks (those that weren’t there when they were printed) are negative. Some markings on the books we inflict on them ourselves. And others are inflicted by others. Sometimes they let us relive memories or remember how you got a book.

1 Bend Spines,  and Wear and Tear
I go back and forth on hating and not minding this category. At the moment I don’t mind bend spines as much  (unless it is for taking pictures) but in the past I really disliked seeing bend spines. These days I realize how hard it is to love and reread books and keep them in pristine condition, especially mass market paperbacks.

As for wear and tear, these bother me a bit more. When you take a book along with you in the bag it is hard not to have a corner of the cover bend. I once had half of my spine bend. My poor The Darkest Minds books. I hate these kinds of things because they are my own fault so I end up beating myself up over it.

2 Dirt and Stains
Aaaah, when you eat and drink while reading, and you spill something on your book.

3 Animal Marks (or for some Kid Marks)
This one I hate. It is the torture of having pets as a book lover. For some reason mostly dogs and cats seem to have a draw towards books. My cat once made holes in the cover of my copy of Ptolemy’s Gate. (And obviously I had to buy another edition) Sometimes they also like to munch on your book pages or jump on the shelves and throw all the books off.

4 Stickers on Covers
These days a lot of covers have stickers on them. Sometimes for sale, others to say they won an award. These stickers are so hard to get off. There are some tutorials to help you get them off, but quite frankly, those don’t always work.

And then there are those that  look like stickers but actually are apart of the cover, ruining the main image of the cover. Why must they do this?

5 Dog-Earing Pages
This one is a big discussion point between book lovers. Actually there are some that get angry at those that dog-ear their own books. While I don’t do it myself anymore, I feel like others are completely within their right to dog-ear books that they own. Unless it is a library book we should not judge people.

6 Autographs
So many people judge others for marking their books in some way, but get excited when an author signs their book. Autographs are marks too, you know. But I’ve never heard people that don’t like to get their books autographed, though I’m sure there are some out there. The autograph is a memory from meeting the author or a sign how you feel about an author. It’s also makes it a bit of a collectors item.

7  Messages Written in Books that Are Gifted to You
I’ve noticed some people don’t like it when people gift them books with a small note written on the inside. I don’t mind this unless it is through the text or an illustration. For me it signifies a memory and a bond you had with this person.

8 Highlighting and Writing in the Book
Some people like to do this. Personally I prefer using post-its to mark something. But seeing these travelling books that have highlights and writing in the sides, it is tempting. It has to be fun to read the book and see others ideas and responses nearby like that. I still don’t think I’d ever do it to one of my own books though.

So how do you guys feel about some of these marks on your books? Are there any more marks than the ones I mentioned? Which ones do you hate and which ones do you do?

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Marks on Your Books

  1. I’ve really softened on marks in books. I’m still not a fan of creased spines, but dog-ears and highlights and dedications don’t bother me at all. Almost the opposite – I love the glimpse into someone else’s reading! I particularly love finding oooold books in secondhand stores that have dedications in the front. My heart broke a little at finding one pristine book with a gift dedication hoping ‘you love it as much as I do’ – it looked like it had never even been opened. Maybe they already owned a copy? I’ll never know. But I gave it a good home 🙂

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    1. Very true. It is a glimpse into someone else’s reading. It is why I don’t mind second hand books as much as I used to. And I think it is great when other people write dedications at the front of a book they are gifting. Because it makes the book more meaningful I think.

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  2. I started being a book fanatic and arranging my shelves before I went to Kindergarten, and no one messed with my books. Ha ha! My sister is sixteen years younger than me and while she was growing up my mother made me let her borrow my childhood books (the horror). I had a very favorite book about a cat that was a sea captain and I hid that book, so nothing would happen to it. Somehow my sister found it and scribbled in it! It was the only book she ever scribbled in and it had to be that one. I still tell her that it was the only time in her life I have ever hated her with a little black heart. Our Harry Potter books are pretty well loved an beat up. I spilled a cup of coffee on The Order Of the Phoenix. My ex and I also wrote to my son in the front of each book. Our black cat died during the time we were reading Deathly Hallows, and when I opened the book to read there were a few if his hairs between two of the pages, so I wrapped them in cellophane, taped them to the page and wrote a little note in the margine about him. I will most likely have to buy a new copy of Sorcerer’s Stone because it was read many times each by three people and it is falling apart, but I do hope my someday grandchildren will read our original set. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaah that poor book. Did you replace that copy or do you still have that one?
      I love how most people have such a welloved set of Harry Potter books, haha. And I can imagine wanting to keep the hairs of a cat you just lost. ❤

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      1. The book my sister scribbled in was, I think, a book from the 1920s or 30s. I have no clue where it came from or who gave it to me, so it was irreplaceable. I wish she had scribbled in a Dr. Seuss book that could have been replaced. Ha ha. 🙂

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  3. Fascinating post! So interesting to see how others approach marking up books and such. For me, I ALWAYS mark up non-fiction books like crazy (high-lighters, markers, notes all over the pages) but I usually never mark up fiction. Once in a while when I just feel the need to mark up fiction, I’ll use stickie notes instead too 🙂

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    1. It really is. And you know, unlike what some people think, there is no right or wrong when it comes to your own books. Stickie notes are a great way to mark things without really marking the book.

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  4. Oh man, my books usually end up in terrible shape. I crack the spines, dog-ear the corners, dribble tea on pages, drop them in the bath (oops….), shove them into the bottom of my backpack…suffice it to say, my books lead a tough life. But to me, books aren’t sacred objects, they’re just paper with printed text. The stories are what matter, and a story doesn’t lose power simply because the book it’s housed in gets a bit crumpled. Did I mention I’m a librarian? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I guess books need a bath every now and then too. 😉
      I think its great that everyone is so different with their books. That way we really make them our own.

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