Monday, October 04, 2010

Conditions of books

Ugh, I'm not feeling great today. I don't know if it's related to my first condition or something totally unrelated or if it's all in my head ^_^; All I know is that I want it to go away, as abruptly as it came, leave me alone!! Especially since I have plans this week-end! I'm thinking a good night of sleep is what I need :P Anyway, there are more interesting thing to discuss :P

Last week, the discussion topic was how do you review... and the responses gave me inspiration for this week's topic :P Some of you mention that you dog-ear pages. Personally, I have nothing against dog-earing pages LOL, but it made me think of books condition and how some people really care about it. So...

Is book condition important for you? And how do you treat your book?

Me? I don't really care about book condition. Of course, when I go to the bookstore, I try to choose the nicest copy available. I think that's a normal reaction. However, I'm not too picky about it, because I'm not one who keep my books in the most pristine of condition ^_^; I mean, I throw my books into my purse, I fall asleep on them... so as a result, I often get kinks and cracks on covers and some damaged pages ^_^; You've seen some of the damage my carelessness has done ^_^;

When it comes to used books, I'm even more lenient. Hey, I'm getting them at discount price, right? I'll rather go with cheaper than better condition. If I can get both though, that's the ideal situation :) All in all though, I'm just happy to get the books, so I don't fuss too much.

What about you?


  1. I used to never care. Except the smell of cigarette smoke - that would throw me off but as long as the print was fine I was fine.

    Now I'm almost the complete opposite. If I crease the cover of a book I think about buying a new one (I haven't yet because that would take work and I'm a touch cheap) and if a book is badly damaged I might not read it at all.

    I discovered this new me when I lent out books to my friends and discovered that once they were returned I wasn't all that thrilled about picking them up.

    I called my one friend a book murderer and have told her not to bother bringing back the books - so they are usually ones I've read and aren't keepers. I would never lend a keeper to her.

    And like you, if I have to buy used I want the best copy and if it's from the States and there are ratings I will spend more money on a better quality book.

    And I think all of this is only because I can. If I couldn't afford to be this picky then I would go right back to library books and used bookstores in a heart beat. I'm just lucky to be able to afford new books.

    I do dog ear pages though. ;)


  2. Sorry! I meant to say I hope you are feeling better!


  3. New books, I pick the nicest one.

    Used books, the same. I pick the nicest one I can find.

    i keep my books looking pretty good. If wear out that spine fine. But I had a friend I loaned a new book too. When I got it back, it looked like a crappy copy from the UBS. Never loaned her books again.

  4. (((nath))) hope you feel better soon!

    New books, I look over all the copies the store has and pick the best one. :)

    Used books, I get a lot of. First I smell them - yep, stick my nose right in there. LOL If it smells like cigarette smoke, I don't get it. I've even come across a few that smelled suspiciously like pee. Ick!

    Also, mystery stains. Recently got a book from paperback swap that had what looked to be either chocolate or old blood on the outside & a blob of it on a couple of the pages. It was nasty, I didn't even wan to touch it!

    I'm ok with some creasing as long as the binding still looks good.

    I try to take care of my books but sometimes they start to look worn. I've spilled Dr. Pepper & salsa on them but if you wipe it off quickly the stain usually doesn't set. :P

  5. I'm militant. Which is why I tend to buy a lot of new books. When I get done reading a paperback, it looks like it's been unread.

    I'm a bit more lenient with used books (obviously!). As long as they don't stink, and aren't totally falling apart, I'm fine with them being a little worn. And the older the book? The more lenient I get.

    What chaps my buns are people like Cindy described. You loan them your books and they return them in such a state you wonder if they ran over them with a truck. Frankly, to me, that's just flat-out rude. The book in question doesn't BELONG to them, so they should treat it with extra care. Hell, both of my sisters (who are notorious spine creasers) always return my pristine books in excellent condition. If they can do that - so can other people.

    LOL - rant over.

  6. Nath, I hope you feel better!!

    I'm not picky at all when it comes to used books! I love, love well-loved books! Books are meant to be read and the more they're read the more they're loved, so yeah... as far as I'm concerned as long as I get to read them, that's okay with me. LOL!

    New books are new... so condition is not a problem. I don't mistreat my new books -- dogear them, highlight them, etc -- most of them are in great condition. But if the spine creases or if there's a slight crease on the cover after I'm done due to an accident I don't freak out.

  7. I'm generally very careful with brand new books that I buy, but if I lend them to a friend and the book comes back with the spine creased or gently worn in other ways--even dog eared pages, even though I personally never dog ear pages-- I'm fine with that. What I don't like, though, is food or other "stains." That creeps me out.

    I don't mind worn used books, but again, no mysterious stains, please. At least coffee smells like coffee... but anything else is potentially disgusting. LOL.

    I bought my set of the first 26 or so In Death books used from ebay, and I have to say I just LOVE that the pages are slightly yellowed, the spines have creases and I can see where previous owners dog eared the pages. The best part is that the books have that wonderful old book smell. I'd say the smell is wonderful to me because it invokes memories of childhood or something, but my young daughters love the smell of old books, too!

  8. OH! And feel better ASAP! Especially with fun weekend plans on the horizon!!! xo

  9. Sorry it's taken me so much time to respond to comments ^_^;

    Cindy - LOL, as we age, we pick up quirks! LOL, just kidding.

    Yeah, that's no cool at all :( Seems to me when you borrow books from someone, you should be more careful how you handle them!!

    Hmmm, I do agree with you on smell. I don't smell my books often, but true, true what you said about smoker smell.

    and LOL about dog-earing pages :P

    Isabel - I think we're all on the same pages about new books LOL.

    I think wearing out the spine is inevitable in some case. Seems to me also that it depends on the quality of the binding...

    Sounds like friends are an unknown quantity when it comes to books LOL :P

    Leslie - Meh. At this point, it's just stressful, cos not sure what it is :(

    Nod nod, that is something I'm going to have to take the habit of doing, smelling them. I usually don't :P

    And yes, mystery stains are the worst. Blech. and right, if you ever drop something on them, the best thing to do is wipe very fast!! :P

    Wendy - LOL, I know. I thought of you when I was writing this post :P I manage to keep some of my books in good conditions LOL. Actually, the faster I read, the less risk they are at :P

    I do agree with you about people not taking care of books that are lent to them! Talk about disrespect!!

    Hilcia - LOL, true. Books are meant to be read :P But stains and smell, hmmmm.

    I don't mind crease either. Although some of my books have really been well-loved and so I bought second copy as keepsafe! LOL.

    Christine - It's one thing if the spine is slightly creased or worn, but some of the people out there... Ouch! LOL.

    I think you can't help the pages yellowing. Especially the older the books are :P and they do smell different when they are older :P LOL.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the week-end.

  10. I'm really finicky about my book conditions. I like my books to look prestine. I NEVER lend books to my roommate/cousin because it always comes back with either stains, dog eared or torn pages, etc. When I buy books from the UBS I'll only buy ones that are in very good condition. I'm super up tight about it!

  11. I care - I try to keep my books in as close to pristine condition as possible. I don't dog-ear, I don't fold back the spine - and I refuse to loan my books to anyone who will do either.

  12. Great topic Nath
    My middle name is anal, what does that tell you? I have to get the most perfect copy (unless there's only one & I HAVE to read it now). At the USB, I look for the copy in the best condition. I won't buy books that smell musty.

    The icing on the cake:
    I use bookmarks that match the cover. I also went to a copy shop & got a whole bunch of bookmarks laminated to they don't get wrecked.

    I checked - there is no help group for this problem LOL.

    Hope you're feeling better soon.

  13. Happy Thanksgiving, nath! ^_^

    Came by to see if your hauling Sunday was up yet. ;)
    No pressure. ;p

  14. Mollie - LOL, maybe it's a librarian characteristic :P However, I do understand your feeling. I think if I could keep my book pristine myself, I'd be the same way LOL.

    Dev - Nod nod. The sharing though is hard for me. LOL, it's so rare that my friends are asking for books to read, I'm just too happy to have something in common with them! So I don't hesitate... Although, my friends are pretty good about it.

    Mary G - Thanks :P I always like to know what is everyone's opinion :P

    LOL, at least, you're still getting the book even though it's not perfect :P

    Wow about the bookmarks! They have to match the book? Do you leave the bookmark with the book or re-use them?

    Christine - Thanks Christine! :P and LOL, posts are coming!