Mariel suggested this week’s question.
Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?
By nature I am one of those people that not only flinches and squeals in pain, but will actually attempt to physically defend books when they are attacked by senseless readers who don't know any better!
That being said, in The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life Steve Leveen makes a strong case for what he calls "leaving footprints" in the books you read. This applies only to the books you own, of course. After reading his advice, I have tried to control my "preservationist" instincts and leave footprints in my books. I underline passages that strike me, indicate words that I had to look up, and write notes in the margin. However, despite inscribing marginalia in my own books, I still cannot countenance dog-earing or spine-breaking. Even if you are going to treat a book as a conversation, as Leveen suggests, you should still treat it with respect!