When it comes to books, I can be a very fussy person. No, scratch that, I am a very fussy person, especially when it comes down to the condition of books.
There are some people out there who believe that the sign of a well loved book is one that is tatty and obviously looks like it has been well used. I respect that and can see why people feel that way, but for me I feel like the sign of a well loved book is one that is in near perfect condition.
Which is probably why I hardly ever let people borrow my books.
Writing of this reminds me of when my mum borrowed Half Blood Prince and she spilt Diet Pepsi on the inside of it, over the title pages. I was horrified, having only owned the book for a week. Thankfully it wasn’t a lot of Diet Pepsi and after an overnight stay in the airing cupboard, it was very nearly as good as new. To be fair, she was going to replace the book if there was a lot of damage.
Dog eared pages are another thing that I cannot stand. I would cringe internally when my friend at school would dog ear the pages of her library book. Whenever I borrowed a book from the school library, more often than not I would come across a book that had dog eared pages and I would unfold each one.
However in recent years, I have lightened up a bit. While I still wouldn’t dog ear a page, I now buy second hand books, even ones that are visibly well loved by the previous owner, something I never used to do. I also accept that I’m going to have some cracked spines, or the corners are going to be bent from chucking it in my bag to and from work, or the crumbs in the pages from where I ate my lunch whilst reading. But I try to keep them in as good condition as viably possible.
And while I have lightened up, I was disappointed with the state of a book I received this week. I had won a competition for a signed paperback copy of a book. It had already been delayed in getting to me, and I was happy when I did get it. My heart sank when I opened the envelope to find that the front cover was ripped, and not a small one either, going a third of the way up the book. Since the envelope was undamaged, I don’t think it could have been damaged through the post, yet I don’t want to believe that the publishers would intentionally send out a damaged book. I know I should be grateful that I won a free book, which I very much am, but it was supposed to be a new copy and anybody would be a bit put out to find a damaged book. Guess I’ll make some enquires.
But enough of me moaning, what are you like when it comes to the condition of books?