Dog-eared pages, cracked spines, coffee spills, and late fees. Are you apprehensive about sharing your books? For a self proclaimed bookworm or bibliotaph, there are so many things to irritate and annoy when it comes to our precious books. We want our books accessible, whole, and unblemished because they have evolved to be so much more than a mere object to us.
Wedding Dress Analogy
A ‘new’ book is the equivalent of a wedding dress. Each page is gently turned and cared for like a wedding dress. It is steeped in tradition, symbolism, sentimentality, and the urge to share and pass down the incredible memories that this object brought into your life.
Paperback or hardcover. You want to preserve this object like a finely pressed and archived wedding dress awaiting it’s next occupant to pour over its contents. Each word connecting to its ideals and purpose is like a finely stitched and gently placed piece of lace to augment and adorn its user.
If the sanctity of marriage is not on your radar, all book nerds can agree that it’s best practice to treat your books like a cherished family heirloom such as antique wedding dress.
If you wish to remain close with your violators, I suggest you pass this along to preserve the state of your books and your friendship.
11 Book Vows
NEVER be late on book returns. Respect your library’s and your friends’ book collections. If you continue to treat book havens like an all you can eat buffet, be prepared for friends to stop lending you their prized possessions. Now someone else won’t get the chance to read that awesome author you just discovered. Like your kindergarten teacher said, “share and play nice.”
No peeking and reading the last page. Seriously, don’t torture yourself and cut corners! Skipping the sequence of events will only leave you confused and raise more questions unless you put the time in. If you happen to be a speed reader, don’t spoil it for your friend!
Don’t become personally and deeply offended when someone tells you they don’t read that much. Put your sassy pants in check and realize not everyone has your interests or impeccable taste in reading. There’s no need to be a crusader for your favorite author/book. Suggest, respect, and move on.
Be careful of torn/missing pages, and avoid coffee spills & tea stains. Snuggling up for a reading session can be dangerous with your favorite hot beverage! Create a safe space with plenty of shelving, tables, and napkins to remedy possible spills on your precious pages.
Never write on, draw on or embellish a book with stickers!!! Some people may love to annotate or alter their books, but this is SACRILEGE! I allowed a close friend to borrow my copy of Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf, and it was returned to me with the back cover torn and a sparkle coy fish sticker on the front. Hmmmm. We’re still friends, but not book swap buddies any longer. Go figure.
Be cautious with book lending and people that collect books, but don’t read them! I’m all for sharing ideas and passing along a good book for much needed exposure. If the lender is ‘all talk”, you find yourself without your favorite read, and hard feelings toward a so-called book lover (aka my sis!).
Eliminate judgy perspectives when people read books on a tablet or smartphone. (At least they are reading!) Not all of our friends enjoy the tactile sensation of a book, its smell, or the simple pleasure of turning a page in anticipation of the next line.
Try not to fall in love with a fictional character, and feel like the world isn’t enough. Fantasy will always trump reality, unfortunately. If you find yourself unusually down in the dumps, invite a friend out, and let them care for you as if you’d just gone through a rough break up. Hey, we all need a little love, even when we manifest our own plight.
Nurse your ‘Book Hangover’ You’ve just finished Game of Thrones, distressing to say the least. It feels as though nothing could possibly compare, but there is still hope. Give yourself time to recover. Catch up with friends, have a spa day or learn to cook something new. Soon a better more engrossing series will stumble across your path, and a new journey will begin for you.
Never run out of daylight! I used to own a book light, but there are definite drawbacks. I highly recommend a headlamp for the ultimate in comfort. You don’t have to move the book lamp off the page each time you need to turn. This might be a great “I’m sorry I lost your book” redemption gift. Oh, you could just read by a lamp, but what’s the fun in that?
Forget debating on book adaptations. Like politics and religion, discussing whether the movie was better than the book will lead down a dark path with a bibliophile. Stay friends and agree to disagree.
Fear of destruction, loss or underappreciation, your books mean the world to you. You can’t cherish a first edition book on an eReader or mobile device. I prefer to have a book in my hands, showing the chunks I’ve read and the pilgrimage to the end.
Our favorite authors have bared their souls so that we can join them on a journey we couldn’t otherwise reach in reality. How do you keep the peace and your books in tact?