Hands Off My Books!

Homemade Severed Head Model for Deja Dead (by Kathy Reichs) Book Report

Homemade Severed Head Model for Deja Dead (by Kathy Reichs) Book Report

I like things a very specific, annoying way. Certain things have to be arranged in the most logical order according to my preferences and one of these things, is the way my books, magazines, and really any printed object is treated. I’m not necessarily a neat person, though. I don’t use binders because they are annoying and time consuming plus I hate having to find a hole puncher, and I usually just end up using the rings to rip holes in the paper anyways. My desk is a disaster zone (and probably a fire hazard) with post-it notes stuck to the edge of my monitor, the wall covered with papers and a calendar that is still on January…of 2014, not to mention its weird occupants including a plastic Darth Vader with a Mockingjay pin and a (FAKE) severed head in a bucket from an old project.What was I talking about? Oh right, books. Books are one of the few things, I spend a significant amount of time caring for.

Darth Vader with Mockingjay Pin

Dusty Darth Vader with his Mockingjay Pin

There are very few people that I will lend books to—actually there are four. And the only reason they are allowed to borrow my books are because they’re exactly as picky as I am. One of the most irritating habits of some people are when they damage the book by either folding it as far back as it will go or laying it face down and open in order to “save” the page. Seriously?! Use a bookmark! It’s not difficult to find a thin, flat object to put between the pages. I’ve used things like those magazine cards that fall out into your soup, pieces of Kleenex, pieces of the Kleenex box, toilet paper, grocery lists, used gift cards, receipts, plastic shrink wrap off of new items, etc.

Look! There are 1000's of little square bookmarks!

Look! There are thousands of little square bookmarks!

And then there are the people who borrow the book for a week and return it looking like they ran over it with their car then ran it through the dishwasher seven times after using it as a dog toy for their drooling St. Bernard. Sometimes, I honestly wonder how in the world one person can be so destructive in such a short amount of time. It would be like leaving Marley, the dog, home alone during a thunderstorm (from the book Marley and Me by John Grogan). Or in my case, like watching my brother torture his Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

(Click for source link) Credit: 20th Century Fox

(Click for source link)
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Finally, there are my magazines. Now, granted that all of my magazine subscriptions are science/technology-related, like Science, Scientific American, Discover, etc., people generally do not want to take or borrow them. However, if they do, here are some of my ground rules— 1. Do not fold over the corners of any of the pages, 2. Do not tear out the pages from MY magazine, and 3. Do not get food or liquid on the magazine (this includes reading outside during a hurricane or in the bathtub).

This wet magazine will never be the same.

This wet magazine will never be the same.

So, before you ask to borrow someone’s precious book or magazine consider looking for it at the library, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.com first. And if someone does lend you their book, don’t abuse it and treat it like they themselves would treat it. Don’t write in it, dog-ear the pages, lose it, take a bath with it, destroy the spine, use it as a coaster, give it to your dog, use it to mop up a spill, keep pages as souvenirs, or do any other cruel act. Use common sense and if I ever lend you a book, it’s either not a good book, not my book, or, on the rare occasion, I trust that you will be careful with it.

Special thanks to taylorgraceauthor as her hilarious post on The 4 horrors of book-lending was a huge inspiration for this one.

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