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I'm careful reading my prints books

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I’m a very careful reader but Ned is merciless with his books. It’s a good thing we went to e copies because that was bound to have caused marital discord over time.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. B
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 10:48:24

    I’m teaching my fiance to handle books with more care. He wrecks his, but I’m extremely careful with mine. We may end up have more than one copy of quite a few of them!

  2. Janine
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 10:49:17

    LOL. I’m a careful reader too. When I read new paperbacks I keep a finger at on the spine the whole time so I can feel if it is starting to bend too much and is in danger of cracking. 97% of the time those spines remain smooth.

    But if I read the same book over and over again, the spine does become creased. Recently my copy of On the Prowl, the anthology with Patricia Briggs’ “Alpha and Omega” story in got creased. I look at it as a sign of love.

  3. handyhunter
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 10:57:31

    I can’t crack spines or dog-ear pages or otherwise mess up a book. And it drives me a bit nuts when other people do it to my books. I don’t have this problem with library or used books. Or books I don’t like.

  4. DS
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 11:19:05

    I have the books I collect and the books I read. The books I collect get a Brodart sleeve on the dj and go on the shelf unread at least by me. The books I read still get treated pretty gentle but they may be tossed in a hand bag/ computer case, left on the dashboard of my car and scuffed a bit. However, I regard it as a real failure if I noticeably crease the spine.

    Pretty odd coming from the person who tears out epilogues she doesn’t like.

  5. Mireya
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 11:35:46

    I always crack the spine a bit no matter how careful I am, but otherwise the book looks almost new. My husband on the other hand pretty much does whatever with them :P

  6. BevQB
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 13:19:06

    Aw hell, not only do I not worry about the spine when I’m folding the the book back on itself (no, not hardcovers), but when I’m done with a book it looks like an accordian because I dog-ear so many pages.

    I dog-ear to hold my place because I can’t be arsed to find a book-mark, I dog-ear because I like a paragraph/scene, I dog-ear because I don’t like a paragraph/scene, I dog-ear descriptions of the characters so I can go back and get a clearer mental picture. I even dog ear things like maps and glossaries at the beginning of books so I don’t have to shuffle through those beginning 5 or 6 pages to get to them.

    ::looks down at Jane in a dead-faint on the floor:: Jane? Jane? ;-D

  7. Jane
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 13:22:56

    I can’t hear you, Bev. My hands are covering my ears and eyes.

  8. Laura
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 14:01:50

    BevQB, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    (I also scribble notes and comments in the margins or on blank or partly-blank pages, though this is more likely to happen with books I read for research than for leisure. Not always, though.)

  9. MB (Leah)
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 14:20:16

    I crack the spine. First thing and constantly. I have to because it just hurts my hands to keep the book open, so I like it nice and loose.

    DH on the other hand freaks if there is even a sign of a crack. If I read one of his books, he watches me like a hawk. LOL

    I even dog-ear sometimes too; for the same reasons Bev does. That’s one feature I love about my ebookwise, the ability to bookmark a page.

    Yo- Bev, holla… :-)

  10. Erastes
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 14:32:04

    I read in the bath, in bed, on the loo, when riding, when … my books get a rough life. This is good for authors because it means I’m often rebuying them.

  11. Jayne
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 16:27:45

    Pretty odd coming from the person who tears out epilogues she doesn't like.

    Hahaha! I love it DS. That’s one way to avoid going into DKA over a sugar loaded final scene.

    When I find myself turning down pages and making notes in the margins of a print copy, I know the review is gonna be bad. Real bad.

  12. Vanessa
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 16:49:39

    When I was younger, and couldn’t afford to buy all the books I was reading, I would read for HOURS in the bookstores. As a consequence, every book I finished in the store ended up looking brand new, I didn’t want to ruin the store’s inventory. When I got older and could finally finance my 4 book a week habit (it’s like cocaine! but healthy!) I never got out of that habit lol It gives me the happiest feeling to look at a book I’ve had for years on end and know that I could (hypothetically) go back to a book store and return it that day as a new book… yeah, it’s kind of strange :D

    There are two books though, books that I have read so many times that they were destined to have cracked spines and peeling, corner bent covers: Forbidden by Susan Johnson and Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas.

    And having my pages dog-eared gives me small heart attacks, I can never look at that book with the same love ever again :( lol

  13. BevQB
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 17:09:35

    Oddly enough, even though once I own a book it gets all the abuse…er… extra love I mentioned earlier, when I’m in a bookstore I always choose from behind the first book out because I MUST be the first one to read my copy!

    So see? I do have SOME reverence for the sacred tomes. Besides, I read somewhere that authors love to see readers with well-read books. ;-D

  14. Anna
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 17:35:05

    I don’t crack the spine or dog ear and my books look mostly new – though I do sling them in bags and leave them in the car and such.

    Just last night I caught my stepson dog earring his book to keep his place. It killed me, but I didn’t say anything – I’m just happy he’s entranced in reading a book!! Seriously, it was pulling teeth to get him to read two years ago, I think I can overlook him dog earring and cracking the spine. Especially since it’s his book, and I’ll never read it (Halo episode ::shutter::) :)

  15. Kaetrin
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 18:38:34

    I like to open the book fully, so on a paperback, that means I’m a “spine cracker” I guess (wow, sounds tough). But, I always use a bookmark – I HATE HATE HATE dog eared pages!!! Other than some spine creasing, my books look new. They’re my precious…. LOL!!

  16. Angie
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 07:43:36

    I could put mine back on the store shelf and no one would know the difference. I’ve been obsessive like that since… probably my early teens. I never had much money to spend on books and I noticed that books with cracked spines were much more likely to start shedding pages than those without, so I started being careful. And because I am an obsessive personality in some ways, it worked up to where I don’t bend, fold, crease or mark any books for any reason. I never even wrote in or hilighted my textbooks in college. I think once I marked in a correction to something that was wrong in the text; that was incredibly weird and I felt all crawly about it, LOL!


  17. Joy
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 08:55:02

    I have NEVER cracked a spine in a book. My trading website buddies love it because when I say “like new” it really is. I’m also really picky at the UBS and have passed up some books (but not all) because they were too used looking.

    I’m also very careful who I loan my keepers to. When I loaned Life of Pi to a friend, he got a 10min lecture on how to treat is.

  18. Laurie
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 16:59:56

    I rarely crack a spine, but I’m a slow reader these days (I blame the internet and fanfic,) and my books have been accumulating small dings because I drag them everywhere I go for weeks on end.

    I used to dog-ear but stopped long ago, and now I have handy little book darts to remember where I left off and which bits I want to revisit later on.

    But writing in books is the ultimate no-no for me. I hated Jess on Gilmore Girls instantly and forever when he stole Rory’s book and jotted down notes in it. There’s no way I could ever like such a character.

  19. Paving Slabs `
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 19:28:46

    the Gilmore Girls are drop dead gorgeous and sexy that is all i can say,~:

  20. Surge Supressors
    Nov 16, 2010 @ 21:06:15

    leather handbags are superb, they look good and they are great as gifts too :’,

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