4. Bad book habit?
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
18. Not even with text books?
I’m taking these questions in a swoop because they all have to do with each other: first of all, the 17 & 18 questions are clearly one question, and 4 clearly encompasses all of them. Now, the short version, here’s the thing: I do not have bad book habits. I may have said this in some form before, but here it is again: I love books more than most people, and by that I mean, not only do I love books more than most people love them, but I also love them more than I love most people.
The physical entity of the book gives me an electric charge that can’t quite be explained, not just to the uninitiated, but to anyone at all. I want to own just about every book I see in a Half Price Books, just because they are beautiful things. I like to sort, organize, rearrange, handle, look at my books almost more than I like to read them. I enjoy reading, I really do — I love characters most and stories second — but reading is all about finishing. I time how long I anticipate a chapter or book will take me. I don’t loiter over them. I don’t like to read them over the end of a month. But when I’m just visiting my books, there’s no time limit on that. I’ll rearrange them all day long. I take care of them. I am good to them. I do not treat them badly, and I don’t take kindly to other people treating them badly — carving them into sculptures or nailing them to the wall, or gutting them, drilling holes in them, ripping out the pages for use in craft projects — the whole thing strikes me as more macabre and gross than Texas Chain Saw Massacre (the one from the 70s). Ugh.
All that being said, let’s quit right now with this misconception that writing in a book is some form of maltreatment of a book.