On cracked book spines
Why I love worn books
"Don't crack the spine."
Those were my boyfriend's words when I picked up one of his books to read.
The request bemused me. What's wrong with a cracked book spine? Opening a book up normally, without over-extending the binding, shouldn't cause a cracked spine, anyway.
He told me off for how far I opened the book. I shrugged him off as being overly cautious, then opened it wider just to tease him and get a rise.
I hadn't intended to actually crack the spine, but I did. Oops!
He was pissed off. He still brings it up to this day.
(Let me point out his hypocrisy, though. He's not okay with cracked spines, but he's fine with leaving books in the bathroom for days on end, prone to damage from humidity and water splatters!)
My point is, there are two types of book people, those who like to keep their books in near-perfect condition, and those who like worn-out books complete with cracked spines, dog-eared pages, underlined passages, and notes in the margins.
I'm in camp two, with a few exceptions: signed copies, valuable or rare books, and coffee table books/art books which are just as much a piece of decor as they are reading material (if not more so). And of course, don't be like me and damage books that don't belong to you!
These days, I mostly read ebooks, and the thing I miss most about paperbacks is that worn in feel of a well-loved book.
One day, when I have the space for it, I will buy paperbacks again. I will own a small library of favourites, and every book will be worn because I reach for them time and time again. Cracked spines will be proudly on display.
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I love reading used books!