So perhaps this is a bit of literary heresy. Some will take it as a cautionary tale if they’ve ever considered lending me a book. But I will admit, I dog-ear pages in books and feel no shame.
I didn’t realize this was considered a bad thing. It’s a habit I picked up from my mother, who has rapidly-filling shelves of paperbacks, every one of which has those little floppy ears. Then I found comments and memes hinting at books being sacred little things that should stay forever unsullied by destructive humans. “There are two kind of readers: Those who use bookmarks, and monsters.” A high school friend once was angry at me because I was reading a book I borrowed from her and opened it too much.
Don’t get me wrong. I obviously love books. They’re little, self-contained adventures that sit quietly on my shelf until I’m ready for them. Must those adventures always be clean? When I read a dog-eared book (of which I have many, thanks to my mother constantly needing new reading material and being a much faster reader than I), I don’t see destruction. I see the history of someone else going down the same road. When I see a well-worn book, I see comfort.
Obviously if you’ve got a limited-run, first edition autographed copy of, say, The Hobbit (or insert the title of your choice here) you don’t want that one going through unnecessary wear and tear. But if your library is anything like mine, you have few if any such books. Odds are they’re mostly inexpensive trade paperbacks.
What do you think? Do you require bookmarks when reading or do you mark your territory? Or do you exclusively read ebooks, and this discussion is irrelevant?