Chorlie's picture
Chorlie from Philadelphia, PA is reading The Rules of the Tunnel October 1, 2011 - 9:55pm

When reading a book, is there anything that you won't do?

Such as underlining, or writing in the margins, or folding pages...

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 1, 2011 - 9:58pm

i dont note in books, even really ones for classes, where i should. i sometimes put dots at the ends of passages i might right a paper about, but i dont make notes as i read, because then i might be looking for themes that arent really there, based on something that struck me on page three, cause im looking for things to back that up

.'s picture
. October 1, 2011 - 10:02pm

I have a kindle so it does the work for me. 

I only fold the pages in a book if I really, really have to.

Howard_Rue's picture
Howard_Rue from Mount Dora, Florida is reading Heart-Shaped Box October 2, 2011 - 5:45am

If its mine? I maul the thing, if I wanna. Nothing better than the feel of a used book. I'm going to be dead one day, hate the opportunity to get everything out of the book I bought.

Just sayin'.

Peace,

Rue

Kalita's picture
Kalita from Australia October 2, 2011 - 6:27am

I could never put pen/pencil to paper in a book, it feels like complete sacrilege! I use post-its, or just highlight on my Kindle since I mainly read on it now (I also like to see what other people are highlighting in books, the Kindle is good for that. Often it's very different to what stands out for me).

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 2, 2011 - 9:01am

Another vote for not writing or folding pages.

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 October 2, 2011 - 5:07pm

I really want a kindle, I've just never made that digital jump. It depends on the book really, if it's cheap or easily replaceable I'll fold pages every now and then or quote something with a highlighter. I wouldn't do it to a hardback, first edition, or some kind of collectors item though.

My pet peeve would be the burning of books; religious or not.
Or the more modern version of that called "not publishing".
The death of transgressional fiction really saddens me.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 2, 2011 - 5:13pm

oh, come now, mister kitts, there are plenty of books out there worth lighting ablaze. most of them say DAN BROWN or JAMES PATTERSON on them. but, i would like to light a fire to a copy of AMERICAN PASTORAL and take pictures. both for the symbolism, and because i fucking hated every word of that book.

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 October 2, 2011 - 5:38pm

All horrible books, take for instance George Bush's memoir shouldn't be burned.
One day there will be a new humor section added to libraries, or a museum of mistakes.

Chorlie's picture
Chorlie from Philadelphia, PA is reading The Rules of the Tunnel October 2, 2011 - 5:40pm

It's like, I don't condone it, but at the same time I don't care. A book is a book. But when it is my book, it is my book.

A. Mason Carpenter's picture
A. Mason Carpenter from USA is reading The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell October 2, 2011 - 8:15pm

Count me in with the creepy "books are temples, do not desecrate them" crowd.  I was raised on public library books, and I even treat my as if some old lady will give me the stink-eye should any harm come to the book.

Felinoid's picture
Felinoid from Luxembourg October 3, 2011 - 9:52am

I really don't see what's so bad about writing and doodling into books, folding their pages etc. Then again, I have been getting most of my books second hand for the past few years, and if I do get a new one it ends up looking no different than its friends when I'm done reading it. Yes, I fold pages, yes I write in them, the book I'm reading often lies next to, under, or even between me and my pillow at night, I sometimes sit on them, in a fit of anger they might fly across the room. But I also feel like I've lived in them, as corny as this sounds, I put hearts next to passages I loved (because I'm just that adorable), go back to them, read them to myself out loud, smell them and, most of all, accumulate them like nobody's business. I have maybe 5 books that I feel protective of in terms of their condition, and I make sure to keep them safe from lipstick and coffee stains, but that's about it. 

damoneorone's picture
damoneorone from Hobbs, New Mexico is reading Imperial Bedrooms October 3, 2011 - 3:38pm

I take the paper cover off hardbacks as not to harm them and I cringe when my 2 year old nephew rips a page out of his sister's children's books.  But then again I enjoy the smell of aged book paper so I guess that makes me a freak, don't it? Muahahaha!

Mike Mckay's picture
Mike Mckay is reading God's Ashtray October 3, 2011 - 3:44pm

I always feel to do little things such as noting or folding pages but every single one of my books is valuable to me and I don't want to ruin those perfect little things. 

@damoneorone I also love the scent aged paper!

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 3, 2011 - 3:59pm

I take the paper cover off hardbacks as not to harm them and I cringe when my 2 year old nephew rips a page out of his sister's children's books.  But then again I enjoy the smell of aged book paper so I guess that makes me a freak, don't it? Muahahaha!

 

I take the covers off hardbacks and rip them up, put them in the bin.  Cannot be arsed with them.  I do the same with DVD/Blu-ray boxes.  Books are sat there on your shelf and the covers slide up, start curling over the top.  Looks a fucking mess.  Straight in the bin.

I've highlighted passages in books.  Occaisionally.  I think the last book I did it to was Pygmy.  Nothing to do with learning.  I just picked out the bits that made me laugh the most.  Funny book.

David Welsh's picture
David Welsh from New Hampshire is reading The Shining October 3, 2011 - 4:04pm

I can't pull myself out of a story enough to make my own notes, but if reading a used book, I'm always intrigued by the notes others leave.

Jen Todd's picture
Jen Todd is reading your lifeline and all signs are good October 3, 2011 - 5:11pm

Oh man.  I will write on, scribble in, make notes that only I can understand.  To be fair, though, I rarely buy books new.  I love the idea of someone having lived the experience before me (a few someones).  If they've written in it, it makes it all the better.


The only thing that really bothers me is smoke.  The smoker leaving behind the smell of cigarettes isn't really the experience I was looking for.

Nav Persona's picture
Nav Persona from Purgatory is reading The Babayaga October 3, 2011 - 5:59pm

Oh! Dust jackets are my sacred territory- to be preserved at all costs, lol. Other than that, I will make notes now and then if something truly strikes my fancy or inspires me. I write my name inside the front. I underline the parts that enchant me.

And...

I love second-hand books with someone else's name in it - not having a sense of ownership, but of sharing an experience. I love seeing what other people have found great about a book, especially if I have no idea who they really are.

And...

Lignin, the chemical found in trees that keep them from the weeping habit, breaks down over time into something akin to vanillin -- that's why used book stores often smell so good :)

And...

I have a Kindle... but can't bring myself to buy many books for it. How will my collection be split up after I die? How will my hand-written notes highlights be translated to my progeny? What about the money, notes, letters, and bookmarks I've stashed away? So I use it mostly for indies and authors I'm not sure of, and for some reference things. I'm not crazy about reading on it. It just feels... weird. I'm not against the format- it's wildly popular, and I can understand that. It's just not for me.

 

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 3, 2011 - 6:05pm

i take dust jackets off, too. i read a lot of things in my collection that i shouldnt (first edition of slaughterhouse five, anyone?) but i almost always take them off of anything i read, no matter the value.

Phil Keeling's picture
Phil Keeling from Savannah, Georgia is reading Virtual Ascendence October 3, 2011 - 6:05pm

Add me to the book smelling cult.  First thing I do when I get a book is stick my nose in it.  No idea why. 

I used to treat books as sacred relics, but the older I get, the more I write notes, highlight, and dog-ear the crap out of them. 

As far as things I'll never do to a book? 

Second base on the first date.  Cause that's just tacky.

Kate Winters's picture
Kate Winters from Toronto is reading James Rollins' Sigma Force series October 3, 2011 - 6:51pm

I post-it note and sticker-flag everything. I never actually mark my books, whether they're text books or not. I don't dog-ear them either. Most of my books tend to look like new even after I read them. There is a bookmark in each book so if i feel like re-reading it at any point i wouldn't need to find a bookmark. (they can be anything, cute business cards from stores, clothing tags that is well designed, etc...)

I keep a lot of hardcovers and special editions so it's just became a habit.

Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever October 4, 2011 - 10:43am

I will sticker-flag sections in non-fiction I am using for story research if I do not have one of my notebooks at hand. My list of won'ts would bore people and make me look more obsessive than I am; it is enough to say that even my books read multiple times look like they have never been opened. All right, maybe I am a bit obsessive that way.

 

CJ Roberts's picture
CJ Roberts from Salem, MA is reading goodreads.com/cjroberts_dmm October 4, 2011 - 11:52am

Spine breaking or bending. Can't stand it. If it's that important you be able to open the book to that page get a bookmark.

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break October 4, 2011 - 11:58am

Oh, how about lending out books that you never get back?

That's happened to me at least ten or so times.

Waterhouse's picture
Waterhouse from Columbus is reading Bullet Park, John Cheever October 4, 2011 - 12:17pm

Oh, how about lending out books that you never get back?

 

 

Which is why I never lend books anymore, not after the second time.

Kate Winters's picture
Kate Winters from Toronto is reading James Rollins' Sigma Force series October 4, 2011 - 12:25pm

Which is why I never lend books anymore, not after the second time.

 

Me neither. And I never lend out books that have been signed.

damoneorone's picture
damoneorone from Hobbs, New Mexico is reading Imperial Bedrooms October 4, 2011 - 2:05pm

@Brandon There are so many books that I never got back... And now even a few more come to mind... but I guess I can always buy them again, but what a hassle.

Oh good my first edition Glamorama is still intact... whew.

XyZy's picture
XyZy from New York City is reading Seveneves and Animal Money October 4, 2011 - 2:53pm

Oh, how about lending out books that you never get back?

I used to worry about lending out books and not getting them back, and I used to be bothered when it happened... even to the point of keeping a list of the books I'd lent out, and to whom... And it was also reciprocal, I've traveled 1400 miles to return a book (okay, I was traveling anyway, I just made sure to bring the book and meet up so I could return it... but still.)

Then I lent a very favorite book to someone and it turned out to be the last book they ever read, and I wouldn't even know where to begin to try to get it back from their next of kin. But really, I haven't even cared about it. Nothing huge or profound, I just stopped worrying about it. I lend books out to people I think would love the books I'm giving them. If I get them back, great, and if not, then at least someone is enjoying them. I can always buy another copy. And those books that I can't get another copy of, I don't lend.

I also do not write in, highlite, or dog-ear my books, but mostly out of laziness, not for any particular care for the condition of my books... with few exceptions.

william.c.cathey's picture
william.c.cathey from Georgia is reading What Is The What October 4, 2011 - 9:34pm

books on amazon where the shipping is more than  the book itself haha

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones October 4, 2011 - 10:59pm

@william see most of my textbooks as an english major....

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 5, 2011 - 6:06am

my favourite prof said "an unmarked book is an unread book" which was news to me. So I scribbled all over A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man to the point of overkill - never did it again. It just felt so wrong. Whenever I find notes in 2nd hand books (pencil can be erased, pen is obnoxious), I've found they were off-the-mark (identifying characters incorrectly for example).

I've loaned out lots of books & comics that haven't come back - as long as they're making the rounds and people are reading them, it doesn't bother me like it used to. When I see a book I've loaned out sitting on the borrower's bookshelf, unread after months and months, I fume...

Pet Peeve would be the two times I bought new books only to find pages missing - like 50 pages - no gap in the binding, just jumped from 185 to 235. And here I was thinking I was inattentive.

Americantypo's picture
Americantypo from Philadelphia is reading The Bone Clocks October 5, 2011 - 6:38am

I don't really treat books like sacred objects. I'll use the dust jacket or those extra blank pages (what the hell are they there for anyway?) as scrap paper for a shopping list or phone numbers. I don't think the physical book really holds as much value as what's written inside. It's just a bunch of paper. Sometimes I would write a reminder to myself in a book I was reading because I knew I wouldn't misplace the book, but I'd probably lose a scrap of paper in my pocket that had a doctor's appointment written in it.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 5, 2011 - 7:08am

I don't really see books as 'sacred', but I do care about having them look nice.  After I read a book it basically becomes an accessory in the colour-organization of my bookshelf.  My biggest peeve is when people open a book so wide that it creases the spine. 

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 10, 2011 - 9:50pm

This whole thread is fucking terrifying for me. Seriously, this shit makes me twitch. One part overbearing English teacher for two years of high school that would (probably) murder you for breaking a binding and one part collector of rare and first editions (and just a little former book store employee) and I can't even look at a book tilted on the shelf without feeling heart palpitations about what it's going to do to the spine.

I do have a couple cheap paperback copies of favorite books I let myself abuse, but I have a really hard time even using a book mark in a book if I deem it "too thick". I would probably feel differently if I didn't have a fairly good memory for the written word though.

XXORosie's picture
XXORosie from United States March 4, 2016 - 2:33pm

  

amazingrobots's picture
amazingrobots from Savannah, GA is reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames October 11, 2011 - 11:23am

Spine breaking or bending. Can't stand it. If it's that important you be able to open the book to that page get a bookmark.

 

And see, I love breaking the spine of a book. That popping sound is satisfying in a way nothing else is.

enough's picture
enough from Indiana is reading Warmed and Bound October 11, 2011 - 2:18pm

I havent purchased a Real book since June, when I recieved a Kindle for my Birthday. I am also in the smelling of the book club. Also whenever I did buy books, I always signed my name, month and year in the front.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 11, 2011 - 2:23pm

It doesn't bother me if other people dog-ear their books, but if someone borrows my book and does it a tiny explostion goes off in my head.  If there's a passage in a book I really like I'll take the time to copy it down in a notebook, or photo copy it.  

Beth Powers's picture
Beth Powers from Columbus, GA is reading Mile 81 October 11, 2011 - 2:50pm

I'm a dust jacket nut. I insist in taking them off before reading to preserve them, because I am not nice to my books. In my opinion, a broken spine indicates a well loved book, but I want them to look nice on the shelf. If I loan a book, i keep the jacket.
I have never written in a book (with the exception of highlighting in textbooks) at all. It's just something that never occurred to me to do. My father gave me my love of books; we have an entire bedroom full of floor to ceiling bookshelves, and every one of them is in order. So I guess I do think of them as sacred, but not in the same way as some.

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 11, 2011 - 3:17pm

I keep trying to read Generation X. I think I've heard good things about it but from the bits I've read I can't see how. Also, maybe I'm missing an inside joke, but there's mistakes by the publisher putting like backwards P where paragraphs should be. Think it might be unicode for paragraph but it pisses me off. Either that or someone's trying to be clever and failing because it's only pissing me off and not a lot else.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 11, 2011 - 3:18pm

@Dr Gonzo - you're also reading it 20 years after the fact, and I think a big part of its appeal was in its timeliness.

Can't comment on the backwards P though.

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 11, 2011 - 3:23pm

I'm glad you call it backwards P, too.

Danny grant's picture
Danny grant October 11, 2011 - 3:30pm

 how about lending out books that you never get back?"
 

@Brandon, Happens all the time! The other day on my desk, sat a graphic novel that I let a friend borrow sometime ago. It had a sticky note on it that read, "Thanks for letting me 'own' your book!"

When I first started reading Palahnuik, I practically gave his books to my friends after reading them, saying things like, "I don't care if you give it back, just read the goddamn book!! It's amazing!!

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading October 11, 2011 - 3:33pm

I rape my books. If the spine's not broken by the time I've finished it, I'll break it just the same. I fuck my books like the little sluts they are. I highlight, scribble and fold.

Dr. Gonzo's picture
Dr. Gonzo from Manchester, UK is reading Blood Meridian October 11, 2011 - 3:35pm

Heh. Watch out for paper cuts.

lynx_child's picture
lynx_child from Seattle is reading The Dresden Files series October 11, 2011 - 7:08pm

I fold the corners of books that I got used that were already pretty old/beaten up.  Usually I use bookmarks.  I rarely actually write in my books - never, actually, unless it's designed for it or is a textbook.  I have a Kindle, too, but I don't tend to take notes there, either.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books October 11, 2011 - 8:47pm

Book raping. That's a new one.

Chorlie's picture
Chorlie from Philadelphia, PA is reading The Rules of the Tunnel October 20, 2011 - 8:03pm

My biggest peeve is when people open a book so wide that it creases the spine. 

 

Me too...

BenevolentForce's picture
BenevolentForce from Los Angeles is reading 1Q84 October 21, 2011 - 12:55am

I'm somewhere in the middle on all this.  I'll take the dust jacket off while I read a book as to not mar it, but then I'll find delight in a splash of booze or coffee staining a page half way through.

I've written my name and the year I bought/received/found it in the back of every book I've ever owned since I was 11 or so. I also like to use notes or pictures that are indicative of the time as my bookmarks, and then keep them in there after I'm done with the book.  My books become part of my own history in this way.

As for pet peeves, I'm not a fan of dog ears or folded pages.  If I want to mark a page to remember it forever, I'll usually use a book dart (http://www.bookdarts.com/) instead.