Gransnet forums

Books/book club

I have a confession to make

(27 Posts)
Bags Sun 06-May-12 08:53:09

I'm a spine bender.

I like a book to lie open when I'm reading it without my having to hold it so. Part of this preference is dictated by arthritis, but part of it is a hangover from student days when I would be making notes about or from a book and wanted it to lie open while I was writing.

When I have a new book I open it halfway and bend it back on itself. If it's a paperback book the spine creases lengthwise. I then repeat this process in an iterative fashion (quarters, eighths, etc) to "break in" the book so that I can use it comfortably.

I also write in my own books — notes in the margins, underlinings, etc. — and turn down page corners.

DH thinks this is sacrilege grin.

I wonder if our attitudes arise from our upbringings? I grew up in a house full of books. We were always pulling them off bookshelves during postprandial discussions in order to ascertain facts or justify arguments. My best ever teacher wrote profusely in all her books. DH, by contrast, grew up in a household where there were no books at all until he started bringing home library books. His reading and studying eventually brought him out of an illiterate (literally illiterate; his father could barely read and his mother couldn't read at all) background to an Oxford DPhil. I understand his reverence for books as physical objects and in certain cases I rever books too, for example as works of art, such as The Book of Kells and other ancient, handwritten works. But when it's a book churned out by a machine I value its contents far more than the object itself.

I still have some of my childhood Puffin books though, creased spines and all.

whenim64 Sun 06-May-12 09:02:34

Me too Bags. My daughter always warns 'don't mess it up' if she lends me any of her books. I always 'break books in' when I get them - they are there for my enjoyment, not to remain pristine and unused. I am more careful with library and other borrowed books and will use a bookmark, but I rarely go to the library now - I just download what I want on to my Sony eReader,. That and the Kindle are great for us book-breakers as they already lie flat.

pompa Sun 06-May-12 09:10:51

Magazines are my problem. A friend on mine has magazines years old, and he reads them regularly, they are in mint condition. Mine, after a day, are dog eared where I fold them over or stuff them in a bag or pocket. I am more careful with books, never fold corners of pages or write in them, although that may change with my current book, the names of characters may need some notation for me to sort them out. I use sticky notes a book marks, thin and don't fall out, perhaps I could put my annotations on them!

Mishap Sun 06-May-12 10:41:45

I think it is fine to write in your own books - but boy do I get angry if a library book has scribblings in - it breaks the flow. I get particularly annoyed if they are spelling or factual corrections - grrrr!

glassortwo Sun 06-May-12 11:15:33

mishap even worse when its a shopping list!

susiecb Sun 06-May-12 11:43:28

My books always lots sticky notes and tags and dare i say it bent corners

Greatnan Sun 06-May-12 16:05:00

I went out with a bibliophile who just collected rare books but never read them - now that is sacrilege!

Bags - have you ever had one of those little stands that hold your book open for you? I haven't, but one might solve your problem of holding a heavy book open. I find I lie on one side in bed when I am reading, then turn over when I read the opposite page, because that part of the book is heavier - does that make sense?

Butternut Sun 06-May-12 16:17:14

Hard backs no, heavy paper backs, only under duress, and any academic/course book I use post-its, write notes in the margin and underline. I like bookmarks. I don't like any paperback that has yellowing on the edges of the pages, nor smears of dubious origin or old coffee ring stains on the printed page. Could say I'm a bit of a fuss-pot with my books. grin!

Anagram Sun 06-May-12 16:22:59

Me, too, Butternut. I've been known to use a sheet of toilet paper as a bookmark in the absence of anything else! I never bend over the pages, even of paperbacks. And I wouldn't dream of writing in a book.

jeni Sun 06-May-12 17:10:04

I wouldn't bend pages or spines f hardbacks, but paperbacks I regard as almost disposable. That's why it's so good to have kindle. If I didn't get rid of books I wouldn't be able to move in my house for them.
As it is Gary the gardner is putting up yet another shelf in my kitchen for my cookery books. I a still going to have to get rid of some.
Not my mothers copy of Elizabeth Craig, which was my first cookbook,followed by Larousse gastronomique. ( I allways wanted to know how to cook bears paw)

Bags Sun 06-May-12 17:14:30

Yes, gn, I have one of those things that holds books open. It's good but it hurts my knees, even with a cushion underneath. Well, I think it's any pressure on my knees that's the problem. Ends up making my back hurt more too. confused So sometimes it's just best to have the book on my lap, well broken in so that my hands don't hurt as well. Can't read lying down – that hurts the top of my spine and my shoulders. Sigh! Pathetic, eh?

butty and anagram, I have a specially dedicated pastry brush beside my reading chair with which to brush other people's biscuit crumbs out of library books. grin DH always raises an eyebrow!

Does anyone else have a book brush?

Bags Sun 06-May-12 17:16:23

jeni, we have to have book clear outs occasionally too. Kindle will reduce that a bit!

whitewave Sun 06-May-12 17:18:24

Oh bags I love your brush idea

Bags Sun 06-May-12 17:20:48

whitewave, so do I! grin I used to blow and faff around no end. Now it's dead easy.

imjingl Sun 06-May-12 17:25:11

This is one of the interesting things with a Kindle. Unless you opt out (which you can) you get to see the passages other people found interesting and 'highlighted'. They appear slightly underlined, and it tells you how many times that passage has been highlighted.

jeni Sun 06-May-12 17:31:06

I t out!

Annobel Sun 06-May-12 17:31:21

I wondered what that faint underlining was! wink

Anagram Sun 06-May-12 17:36:26

I used to hate that with library books - the crumbs and odd stains! One I found a pube shock! I'd have to have a mini-hoover, I'm afraid. I don't want other people's old crumbs and hairs on my bedclothes grin

greenmossgiel Sun 06-May-12 17:37:30

I used to lie on my side when I read in bed, but my glasses get in the way now! I use a bookmark but sometimes have to (very carefully) bend back the spine of a book if it keeps closing itself as I'm reading it. Don't write in them and don't 'dog-ear' the pages.

Annika Sun 06-May-12 18:08:30

Anagram shock
I can not get dirty books from the library when I say dirty , I don't mean dirty as in wink , but messy dirty, if there are any stains on them or they smell a iffy I leave them on the shelf ! grin

greenmossgiel Sun 06-May-12 19:29:44

Yuk, Anagram! shock

Ariadne Sun 06-May-12 21:44:06

bags does the book seat help? Remember I bought one after you talked about them? I love it!

Maniac Mon 07-May-12 13:42:43

bags -like the brush idea for books.I keep a soft paint brush near my laptop.I seem to get so much dust and crumbs between the keys.

I have a very varied collection of bookmarks - hate to see pages turned down
I sometimes write in books I own.

In 2009 bought from Amazon a 'used' copy of 'God is No Laughing Matter'by Julia Cameron.It is in fact an amusing provocative book but I love it because of the previous owners annotations .It was bought in Laguna Beach,California Different Drummer bookshop on April 11 2001.It is in pristine condition with original dust cover and the notes/underlining and occasional drawings are done very neatly and artistically.with dates.Sadly didn't carry on beyond first few chapters.
I love to imagine someone in CA.buying and reading and the journey it has since had

Bags Mon 07-May-12 13:46:02

Yes, ariadne, the book seat is good but I still have the pressure on legs/knees problem if I rest it on my lap, which I do because I like to sit with my feet up. I did try not raising my feet but that didn't help. Sometimes, I just have to only have the book.

Bags Mon 07-May-12 13:46:36

But I've been a spine bender all my life. shock