Are You a Book Murderer?

So, are you?

It all started with this (with permission to post):


Most people I meet think I’m crazy for being so fanatical about how my books are handled. I don’t like spine creases, dog ears, ripped pages, food stains, etc. It’s gotten so bad that people don’t even ask to borrow my books anymore because I flip. I honestly grab the book, glare, rant for 5 minutes – HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO THE COVER? DID YOU EAT THE PAGES? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO MY BOOK? WHY! – and then tell them they’re not allowed to borrow my books anymore.

As you can see from the above Tweet, Elizabeth and I can never be book sharing buddies 😛 I’ll read everything she writes, but she’ll never be allowed to borrow my copy lol

Initially, it was just something I did, didn’t really think about why. I’m neurotic *shrug*

But, I realized I’m like that with ALL my belongings. (I got in an argument with a girl in 7th grade because she borrowed my crayon and wasn’t coloring with it properly. SHE WAS SMASHING DOWN THE TIP!) And I’ve figured out WHY.

It’s ingrained in me – has been for YEARS. When we came to America (I was five years old) and my parents were essentially restarting their lives. They had to find jobs, a place to live, a school for me, food & clothing even when they didn’t have jobs. We started by staying with my aunt, uncles, 2 cousins, my aunt’s parents, and her brothers.

‘Twas pretty crowded, Internet.

That being said, toys and EXTRAS were few and far in between. I remember one year, I was about six or seven, I picked up a Mermaid Barbie,

(The old ones that looked like this)

but, at first Mom said no. Then, she said, “Fine, but that’s for your birthday AND Christmas.” (I was born in March) <– Do you know how many kids that would devastate today? I didn’t think much about it. Either, I didn’t care and was too excited about IT’S A MERMAID, or it didn’t sink in what that meant.

But, because it was one of the few dolls I had, I took care – or tried to take care of it. (Most of the dolls I have are still in their boxes because my grandmother didn’t want me to take them out and “destroy them” -.-)

But, anyway, THE POINT IS, this is probably why I’m a teensy-teeny-weeny-TINY bit crazy about my books.

How about you? How do you treat yours books? Is there a deep psychological reason are you crazy like the rest of us?

(Luckily RETURNING THE FAVOR is published as an eBook and I don’t have to worry about all that ;P)

17 thoughts on “Are You a Book Murderer?

  1. Pingback: Letters From the Mezzanine | In Defense of Book Murderers

  2. Thanks for all the responses! You guys are great! I have nothing against what other people do to their own books. They’ll just never get their hands on mine 😛 I’ll give you recommendations, not books.

  3. I have a couple of author-signed hardbacks – they’re treasures I wouldn’t lend out to anyone. I loved A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness so much when our book club leader asked if another member could borrow it, I said “NO! I’m using it for research.”

    I will confess to “destroying” a few titles. Here’s why: I wanted to use them specifically to tear apart what the writer did because I LOVED the author’s style. So, there’s different colored highlighted passages, (um…yes, FIVE different colors), power words underlined in purple, dog-earred pages, and sticky flags to point me back to specific techniques. Don’t freak out, Priscilla! It was all done in the name of studying the ART of writing.

    Now I mostly do all my reading on an e-reader.
    It’s important to have treasures. I like that about you, Priscilla! My mom was raised by Depression Era parents, so some of that frugality passed on to me, too.

    • That’s not destroying, that’s research. I do that too, only I take notes on a sheet of paper (pages #’s and all) then tuck into the book.

      I should probably get an ereader. I’ve been reading everything on the Kindle app on my phone.

  4. Pingback: In Defense of Book Murderers | Letters From the Mezzanine

  5. LOL! I could easily lend books to Jami or Elizabeth! Lots of times I pick one up hold it over the trashcan and shake it *hanging my head in shame* If you drop one in the tub 😀 just set it over the floor vent and blast the heater. This really annoys my husband when it’s 80 degrees outside! I’ve learned the hard way to only dog ear where there is no print. Tape on a page does annoy me!

  6. I’m so obsessed with my first Edition book collection that I buy an extra copy to lend to people! I will never get over my old-fashioned love of books, along with the touch and smell of them and I hope someday soon that one of my own will be made into a paperback, but I’m still proud to be a published author. Lyn

  7. I love books, all kinds–digital, paperback, hardcover. I do dogear my paperbacks and sometimes when I read at the beach they get sandy and wet. Isn’t that what they’re for?

  8. I am the same way! I used to turn the corners, 20 years ago, but I would never, ever do that now. I don’t like cracking the binding & I don’t lend out my books. OCD!

    • The only books I write it are the ones for class because they tell me I HAVE to. In high school, the teachers would come around to check that we “read” by looking that we highlighted and underlines stuff. It didn’t actually matter what we underlined.

  9. I’m the same way – I can’t stand it when any of my books look less than brand new. Dogears, bent spines, ruined covers and/or crumbled/ruined pages – well, basically anything that isn’t supposed to happen to a book freaks me out to the point that I rarely, if ever, let people borrow my books.

    Of course, my brothers think I’m insane, cause I’ve asked them to wash their hands before they touch my books, but that’s okay.

    is this extreme? I don’t think so, especially since I paid A LOT for some of those books!

    P.S: If it isn’t obvious, I DON’T like book murderers! 😡

  10. When I used to buy books, I would always mistreat them, drown them in the bathtub, bend the spines, etc. But I haven’t bought a paperback in two years. I only read digital now, and I’m slowly getting rid of my existing books, except for a few favorites.

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