BOOK VICES: DO OUR BOOKS REALLY NEED TO BE IN PRISTINE CONDITION?

Hey Guys! Today I’m coming at you with a new Book Vices discussion and today I’m talking about how important it is that our books be in perfect and pristine condition! I am personally on the fence with this one so I thought I would go into both sides of the discussion!Β 

Let me know where you fit in on the scale!

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WHY DO WE KEEP OUR BOOKS IN SUCH GOOD CONDITION?

So, why do we do it? Why is it so important to us to keep our books in such brilliant have-i-even-read-this condition??Β For some of us, it doesn’t really matter and sometimes we care and then sometimes we do care about how “loved” our books look.

Do we do it for the aesthetic?? For Bookstagram &/or photography? For the physical “brand new” clean look you can get from an uncracked spine?? Does it really matter? Should we all just mind our own business and let people live their own bookish lives?

The main argument for a cracked spine is to show that it’s loved but, I’m pretty sure most of my books are loved, and unless they’re second hand they generally have uncracked spines. If the state of a spine is how we determine if a book has been loved or read then what about ebooks or audiobooks?

WHY DOES IT MATTER TO US?

I think it mostly matters to us because we’re a very visually biased society and we can be quite intense. I think, it probably doesn’t matter a whole lot and it just comes down to what we prefer to look at because apart from convenience for reading, the main reason for owning a bookshelf is to show and be proud of how your books look.

WHAT’S THE OTHER SIDE TO THE ARGUMENT?

It doesn’t really matter.

Books are meant to be loved so does it really matter what they look like – some people love to annotate, dog ear or crack the spine – what’s wrong with that?

Some people love ebooks, some people love audiobooks and some people love a cracked and peeling cover, isn’t that kind of cool too?

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DO YOU LIKE A CRACKED SPINE OR DOES IT OT BOTHER YOU?

HOW DO YOU SET OUT YOUR BOOKS?

HAVE HAVEΒ goodreadsiconinstagramiconpinteresticontumblricontwittericon

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26 thoughts on “BOOK VICES: DO OUR BOOKS REALLY NEED TO BE IN PRISTINE CONDITION?

  1. I personally love to keep my books in tip-top shape; however, I love when books look really wore from love as well. My book Eragon is ripped and the cover is bent. I still love it though. It looks like the story was well loved. Sometimes though, I enjoy having the cover look gorgeous at all times with writing in the pages. Recently I’ve been trying to annotate my books. It’s fun going back to books to see what your first reaction was when you read it. I wish I would have done it with my Harry Potter series because I’ll never get to experience it again ):

    -Amber

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that feeling! I love how both of them look!
      That’s what I prefer to do too. I really love having a well taken care of cover but with a totally annotated book on the inside, it’s so much fun! I feel the same way, I wish I could go back and see what I thought of HP for the first time!

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  2. I love to annotate my books. It’s a way to engage with the text and help me remember, and be able to go back to what i’ve annotated later. I love having my books show they’ve been read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same way, I love being able to look back over time and find my favourite sections or see what I thought of a book the first time I read it!

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    1. I can totally relate. I know that it’s my fault if I’m the one who bent the cover, but if someone else does it oh boiiiiiiiii they better watch out. I’m fine with 2nd hand books though because I kind of expect them to beat up!

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  3. A little bit of backstory on me that I don’t talk about often is that I grew up in a pretty poor household. I only got books for my birthday and Christmas, or once every few months my aunt would take me to Borders and treat me to 1 or 2 clearance titles; otherwise, everything came from the library. Because of that, I would reread my personal books over and over, and if I was rough on them, they would start falling apart (kids’ paperbacks don’t withstand a ton of trauma, lol!!). So, I got into the habit at a young age of trying to take care of my books. Cracked spines can damage the glue, which can cause pages to fall out (in paperbacks especially, but hardbacks too if they’re not made well). That’s the #1 reason I take such good care of my books.

    Besides that, I genuinely hate the look of cracked spines. Once a paperback has been cracked a lot – especially if it’s a mass market – it can reach the point where you literally can’t read the spine to see what the book is! Since all of my books live on a shelf, I used to have a whole shelf of mass markets from thrift stores as a teen where I would have to pull each book out to see what it was because previous owners had brutalized the spine. So, because of that, I grew to vehemently HATE cracked spines. Obviously I don’t care if someone else’s books’ spines are cracked, I just don’t like it on my shelves.

    Fantastic discussion post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do understand that point. I can totally understand why you would want to cherish your books like that!

      I understand that too. My old hardback copies of HP are all super old so I won’t even try to open them anymore for fear they’ll just die and all the pages will come out.

      Thank you! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cracked spines irritate the hell out of me on my own books, but if others want to crack spines on their books, then that’s OK. What I’M NOT OK WITH is when someone borrows MY BOOK and cracks the spine – that’s just rude??? Like if I gave you an item of clothing and you STAINED IT would that be OK? No… so why do people think it’s OK to wreck my books?

    I like to keep my books looking new as possible because I like that they look clean and neat. I don’t care what other people do with their books, and I wish people didn’t care what I did with my books. Like my mum gets weird with me about the fact I hate lending my books to her because she bends the cover and cracks the spine. Don’t ruin my stuff and I’ll lend it to you!

    …Saying that… I do dog-ear my books… my one guilty pleasure πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I relate to that completely! If I crack the spines on my book that’s my fault, but if someone else does it to my book they are going down!
      I feel the same way, I wish other people didn’t care what I did with my own books and would just keep their mind on their own!

      Haha, I know that feeling! I don’t like others touching my books but, I do love annotating and dog-earing in mine!

      Thanks for your comment! ❀️❀️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed! ❀️ I love the look of “older” or “used” books and I go through phases of wanting all my books to look that way and then wanting them to all have no cracks/ perfect cover which is why I tend to buy double up copies of my faves in 2nds hand book stores and book swaps.

      I love the look of second-hand books and you should be so proud of your bookshelves because I bet they look BEAUT-I-FUL!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep my books in pristine condition in general, but for books that I really love- say, Harry Potter or PJO, I don’t mind breaking the spines or annotate the books. It’s just I might unhaul my books at times and I try to keep it pristine to respect the next owner, because if I get secondhand books I’d hate it too if it’s not in a good condition πŸ˜€

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    1. I feel the same way! If I love a book I feel no qualms about annotating or bending a spine but, if I don’t love a book I prefer to keep it in tip top shape because I don’t like giving away beaten up books, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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  6. I like to keep mine nice just because they last longer? When I was little and didn’t have many books and only got a new book or maybe two for christmas I had to reread them over and over again so I tried to keep them nice so they wouldn’t get trashed. Now I’m kinda in the same mind frame, if I crack a spine or something I don’t really mind but it irks my mind because I think I’m not taking proper care of something I payed for so it’s not really about aesthetic for me more about making sure they last

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    1. That’s a great point! I honestly didn’t even think of it like that!
      I was in a similar situation when I was younger so naturally, most of those books are trashed by now because the spines are all falling apart!
      I can totally understand that, why pay $30 for a book (bc lbr Aus is a hellhole when it comes to buying books) only to let it start falling apart in a few years because you cracked the spine?

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  7. This is definitely a thought provoking post πŸ€” I have to be honest and say for a long time, I’ve been guilty of the no-damage police. I’ve been starting to slowly transition to the other side, though. There’s nothing quite like annotating a book you like and there’s that. Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I thought so too!
      I was the same way, for a long time I couldn’t stand to even have a tiny crack in the spine, but I’ve gotten a lot better with it over the years! Now, I kinda love a cracked spine and some annotations!
      Thank you! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great discussion post! When it comes to my books I of course try to keep them in good shape, meaning I try not to spill my drinks on them (I love having a hot drink or some lemonade with me when I read) and things like that. I feel like with my paperbacks (and I own a lot of them), they often have a bit cracked spines, which cannot be 100% avoided when you read them, especially multiple times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❀️❀️

      I’m the same with my books! I love to try and keep them in shape, but I am no longer going to cry over spilt milk (or a cracked spine). Exactly, you can never avoid a cracked spine if you have lots of paperbacks.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I spent my teens to very early 20s liking having my books ‘look loved’. But I think it was mor ethan anything my excuse for trashing my books because I was clumsy and a giant mess and accidentally destroyed everything I owned.
    I have a copy of Looking for Alaska that has sambucca stains on most of the pages because I took it to a party and the bottle leaked in my bag. I would argue that it is very fitting for the book ahah.

    Now I try and keep mine in good condition for the aesthetic but also because I’ve learned to look after things by this point and I’m very proud of my books. And I do want them to last, especially since I don’t have a lot of money to spend on books and don’t get to buy them very often.
    I try not to crack the spine but sometimes that’s not really an option because it can hurt my hands and wrists too much trying to avoid it.
    I do annotate and highlight in my books though which is arguably not looking after them but its what works for me.
    I try to avoid dog earring now but I’ll do it if I have nothing to use as a bookmark.

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    1. I used to do the same thing to my books – they got absolutely trashed around the house and in my school bags.
      I think I’m the same – I straight up just learned how to take care of my stuff! I also don’t buy many books unless I’m going to reread them so I want to them to look nice because I dont really own many other things.
      Annotating is just a different way to love your books! I love annotating my books and I really love seeing past comments and how I highlighted my books! I also dog ear occasionally so don’t feel bad!

      Liked by 1 person

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