I love my books. When I browse through the bookstore and decide to purchase a book, I always have to pick out the one without any noticable blemishes. The front cover also has to lay flat, not be sticking up. Usually, this means that I grab one from the bottom of the book pile. I love them so much, that I read them cautiously as to keep them in as pristine condition as possible. Then they sit on my bookshelf like the beautiful objects they are. That is how I used to read my books.
The picture above is of The Kite Runner, which I read in early May. I loved the beautifully written book so much that I just HAD to share it with all my reading friends. It has gone through at least five people since then (my girlfriend even tried to give it to Maureen, who had already read it). As you can see, it has been through the mill. Years ago I would have not loaned out such a precious book for fear that it would come back to me looking just like this.
So, how did I go from being a neurotic book owner to someone so non-chalant about the condition of her books? I think it has less to do with a book itself and more to do with sharing a story that touched me. Once I read a wonderful book, I just have to tell everyone who will listen about it. What better way to share my delight than to hand them a book.
So now, take my books from their shelf, read them, doggy-ear them, underline a wonderful quote from them. Enjoy them, like I have. The well worn book that you returned to me with a smile reminds me why I too love to read.
P.S. I still do take books from the bottom of the pile at the book store. Some habits are hard to break.