Do You Abuse Your Books?

I'll never forget the day my father-in-law looked at me in horror and said, "You dog-ear your pages?"
I know I looked at him blankly. "What?" I'd never heard that phrase before. Turns out I'd been abusing my books my entire life, bending the corners of the pages, wrinkling their spines when I set them pages-down.

Oh the guilt.

I tried to use bookmarks. I really did. But they always got lost.

Do you "abuse" your books? What do you think about dog-earing? Any pet peeves about what people do to their books?


Katie Ganshert said…
YEs, I do too!!!! Always have and just like cracking my knuckles, I can't seem to shake the habit. Like you, I've tried book marks, but they never work out for me.

Here's one more confession...I even have dog-earred library books. Every librarian's worst nightmare! I do it without even realizing it.
Being that I'm a perfectionist type A personality...I am careful that my books still look fresh off the rack because I pass them on to others to enjoy and often donate them to our library or other organizations who want and can use them.

There are books that I use for reference that I do make notes in and an ocassional page will have a tea stain, some cat fur and a folded corner!
Uh-oh, LOL, Katie! So dog-earing is a librarian's nightmare? I never even THOUGHT of that. Whoops. I do it too, to every book. Sometimes I try not to and then without thinking, I will.

Donna, the cat fur part is TOO funny!!! Good for you for keeping your books so nice like that. That's pretty awesome.
Krista Phillips said…
My name is Krista, and I'm a dog-earer.

Every once in a while I'll remember to pick up a bookmark, but it's rare. More often though, I do the "lay the book over" and I know, I know, not good for the spine...

But they're my books and I can do it if I want to!! :-p
Ha...this is funny. I just mentioned on Rachelle's blog yesterday this is one of the main reasons I'll miss holding a book in my hands, the dog-eared pages, the pen and pencil scratches...When I own a book I make it mine. All mine.

My precious.

Hope that answered your question. ;)
~ Wendy
Hahaaa, Krista. That last sentence and pictorial are real mature. :-P

Wendy, heehee. My Precious...that made me smile.

I hate the thought of marring books, so I use a bookmark or sear the page number into my brain. If it's something I'll need to reference, like a craft book, I'll use the little sticky tabs, or just scraps of paper. I can't bring myself to highlight, either.

This is all true but for my Scriptures, I've just realized. It has notes in the margins and highlights all through the text. I wonder why this is different?
Faith said…

Dog eared pages... *shudder*... cracked spines... *shudder*... writing in the book... *faint*

I'm a bit of a book Nazi, if you'll excuse the term. I like my books to look perfect, so I can feel like walking into a bookstore every time I look at my shelves. I have a certain way of holding my books that ensures the spines don't crack, and if anyone wants to borrow my books, they have to promise to use my method and return the book in the exact same condition it was when it left my shelf... *dun-dun-duuuuun*
MeganRebekah said…
I hate bookmarks. They slip into the pages or drop out later and really they just add clutter to the house and bookshelf. So that means I'm a book abuser. I'm not usually a dog-ear person, more of a leave it open and bruise its spine kind of abuser.
CKHB said…
I do not dog-ear pages, and it drives me INSANE when other people do. I don't use bookmarks, I just memorize the page number. I also never crack the spine on the first reading. A book has to be beloved and read constantly and lugged around everywhere before it shows any wear. That said, I don't mind buying used books with pre-cracked spines (but I still hate finding the left-over folds on the corners).
Only if I absolutely cannot find a bookmark. I also try not to crack the spine and I definitely don't turn the cover back. I like for my books to look as pretty as possible. If one looks bad, it means it was very, very well read.
Janna, hmmm, that is psychologically interesting, isn't it? LOL

Faith, wow, another careful book reader? There are more of you all than I thought? *grin* Your comment is hilarious!
Wow Megan, breaking it up into categories, huh? Heheee! I guess I'm the book-spine wrinkling abuser, and the dog-earing abuser, but never water stains! Never. :-)

CKHB, you would hate my books then! I probably abuse the pages more than the spines. I like your point about the book needing to show the wearing-down type of love over time.
Kristen, I never fold my cover back. It's a pet peeve and I forgot that others do!
Jill Kemerer said…
I'm hard on books. I like them to open easily so I push on the spine. Bad, bad, bad!
Naughty Jill! *grinning*
Danyelle L. said…
I'm guilty of flipping them over and keeping them open to mark the place. >.<
Sarah Forgrave said…
You know, I never realized this until your post, but I think I only dog-ear nonfiction books. I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I like to reference things and go back to them, or maybe I view them more like a textbook. But I usually don't dog-ear fiction books. Apparently they're more sacred. :-)
Eeek! Danyelle, bad, bad.

Sarah, isnt' funny? So do you use a bookmark with fiction then?
Erica Vetsch said…

The librarian in me just horked up a lung!!!!!

NO! no! nonononononono!!!!

I don't dog ear books. I don't lay them open face down. I don't lick my finger before I turn a page. I don't write in books. If I own a hardback book with a dust jacket, I remove the dust jacket and leave it in the book's place on the shelf until I return it there so the dust jacket doesn't get wrinkled or torn.

Sigh. I am a fanatic bibliophile.

I use bookmarks all the time.

There. I feel better.
Tamika: said…
I'm an abuser! Woe is me!

Recently I've started using bookmarks, I reallt never thought of it before.
LOL Erica!!! Your comment just made me snort with laughter! I'm sorry! Seriously, I never knew dog-earing was wrong until my FIL said so.
You horked up a lung? I've never heard that phrasing but it gave me quite an image. LOL

I'll admit that I've always hated wrinkling dust jackets.

Other than that....*ducking in the face of Mrs. Vetsch's horrified enragement!*
Good for you Tamika! Any advice on how to not lose them? :-)
Kara said…
How funny! I try to use bookmarks but my daughter always pulls them out. I usually end up folding down the page. If it is someone elses book or I know I'm going to sell it later I try to be really careful. They do have bookmarks that are like giant paperclips, those stay on well as long as little hands aren't trying to rip them off the page.
Elana Johnson said…
I used to, but I don't anymore. My current bookmark is a postcard for a subscription to a cooking magazine. I've used gum wrappers, ribbons, whatever.
Kara, those stinkers! lol I know what you mean. For someone else's book I'm always very careful. :-)

Elana, but you use something besides the book itself to hold your place. Smartie. :-)
Nancy said…
Your titles are always intriguing and this time it was what I thought it would be about.

No library would want my books. Not only are they dog-eared, but marked with pen, markers, and comments. I even neatly underline in my favorite Narnia books. Just the best of the best there.

I'm even giving a speech on this topic soon - how to "get" the material.

I do have a few "pristine" hardbound children's books I don't mess up. Thanks for sparking such a good controversy.
Dara said…
I use to dog ear but not any more. Although sometimes I will dog ear the bottom of a page if there's some info I want to look up later (especially the case with historical fiction!)

I try and use book marks now--I do have a few that I bought but I also use folded post-it notes--I still find those are the best. :)
Nancy J. Parra said…
Oh My Gosh- lol- a good book should be abused like a favorite rag doll- bent, crumpled, highlighted and notes written on. That way you can tell with one look that it is loved and read. Makes you want to read it.
If it isn't abused and sits pristine on the shelf, well, the book must be boring because no one's touched it. Don't you think?
Don't even get me started on how ugly my favorite cookbooks are...
anita said…
okay, this post and the comments are CRACKING ME UP! LOVE IT!!

I work in a library and am in charge of fixing books when they're damaged, so I'm pretty gentle with them ... but I have been known to dog ear when there's no other way to save a spot. *shamed*

As for bookmarks, Jessie, I guess I know what to never get you for a gift. SNORT! (Inside joke there ... I know you're taking care of my pets...heehee).

Oh, and I can't STAND watermarks on books ... but coffee stains on magazines? Well, now that's a whole other thing. (Inside joke #2--ha!). ;)
Oh NO!! Nancy, I can't believe you write in your books. I draw the line at that! *grin* But I do mark up my Bible so I get why you do it. :-) You're giving a speech? That's pretty cool. Thanks about the title. I try to pick ones that are interesting...:-)

Dara, great tip about the post-its! Thanks. :-) And funny about dogearing the bottom of pages...
Nancy P, lol! Your cookbooks??? Now that makes me jealous. I WISH I liked cooking. I seriously do.
Love your analogy of the favorite rag doll. So apt. ;-)

Anita, you better not ever stop sending me those very cool bookmarks! I try to use them but when I don't I still like to look at them. :-)
And yeah, coffee stains are special. They should be autographed by special people. *snicker* (and that's my inside joke, heehee!)
Karen Hossink said…
No. I don't dog ear. I bookmark. And I think post-it notes are especially good for this!
I do, however, underline and write notes. Sometimes I journal, but if I write right in the book, it's so much easier to find my thoughts. *grin*
Jennifer Shirk said…
I dog-ear my pages and even throw them in my beach bag and they get all sandy and bent, too. I'm horrible.
patti said…
My books are dog-eared, marked-in, hugged, put in cars, on planes, trains, boats, bathtubs.

But when I carry them, I cradle them like a baby...

So a loving but perhaps wild mommy here.

GREAT post as usual!!!
Deb Shucka said…
Not only do I dog-ear, but I also write and underline in my books. It's not abuse. It's love. The very deepest kind.
I highlight brilliant sentences to refer to later. Sometimes I pup tent them, if I can't put my hands on one of a million bookmarks in my house.

If I were going to sell them to a book dealer, your fil could give me a nasty look. But I read them, then give them to others.

This isn't abuse.
I use bookmarks, even if the only thing handy is a tissue (clean, of course).

The only book I mark is the Bible. I've got notes everywhere, which is why I use mine until it totally falls apart.

Susan :)
I use a bookmark, but I dogear if I want to mark a page to come too. So, yes, I abuse my books too, I guess.
Karen H, I can't believe you write in books too! This is a kind of abuse I didn't anticipate. *grin*

Jennifer, that is horrible! I do have a pet peeve about sand in my books. :-)

LOL Patti! You do sound kind of wild. I love how you slipped "hugged" into that list.

Deb, as usual, you have a way with words. :-)
Pup tent, Jeanette? Do you mean you fold the page in half!?! :o

Susan, I underline and highlight in my bible too. :-)

Eileen, you're guilty? Gentle you? *grin*
denise petrovich said…
I used to dog-ear books until my mother told me I would ruin the pages. I always have a book marker with me, usually a small piece of paper I fold into three's. I try to be careful with my books, especially since many of them belong to my daughter and she wants me to take good care of them. :)
I have a different set of standards for fiction and non-fiction. Fiction I treat like gold, using bookmarks or the shear force of memory to mark the page, if need be. But my non-fic are open to all forms of abuse: dog-ears, highlights, notes in the margins, and Post-its!
Rita Gerlach said…
Signed first editions I treat with care. Same with hardcovers. If I can't find a bookmark handy, I admit I dog-ear. The worst thing I ever did to a paperback is I used it to prop up a leg on a piece of furniture.
Emma said…
I'm too ashamed to admit to this, but I write notes in my books, I bend the spines back and I dog-ear the pages.

Oh my days! My name is Emma and I am an abuser of books.

Oh Jessica, I lost the link to your blog somehow, but found you again, phew!

Catching up now.
I abuse books, I turn corners down, bend spines, and scribble notes in the margins. I love them and show it.
I make bookmarks to go with the cards I make, but never make them for me, they would be wasted. LOL

I use the phrase dog-eared, I heard my Grandfather say it and 'borrowed' the saying.
Faith Pray said…
Is is really abusing a book when it's all yours?
I like to think of my books as friends who are waiting patiently with corners gently folded, hanging on a minute face-down on the pillows, holding my thoughts (those pencilled-in margin notes) for me till we pick up and start again. Never even thought of it as abuse, more as true love. I'm a lover of books, so much so that we get to know each other and hold hands and endure tear splashes. I have a select few old friends who are duct taped at the spine because I couldn't bear to replace them.
Mind you, library books are a different matter. Having seen the horrified librarians' comments above, I promise to keep library book corners unmolested herewith.

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