This may be a shocking confession. It seems worse coming from someone who writes. I’m ashamed, but it’s time to come clean.
My name is Eileen Cook and I abuse books.
Yes, I am one of those people who bends the corner of the page over instead of using a bookmark. If it is a passage I really enjoy- I underline it. In INK! I read them in bed, with the spines broken wide. I read them in the bath- their pages warping. (And yes there have been some unfortunate death by drowning incidents.) I read while eating meals so there are pages crusted together with goops of peanut butter or curry sauce. I keep them stacked by the bed where they get stepped on and from time to time gnawed on by one of the dogs. They roll around in the back seat of my car waiting for me to read them. I promise over and over that next time I’ll be better- but I usually fall back to old habits.
I behave myself if it is a book I borrowed from someone else, but if it belongs to me the book better not pull a prima donna act. It better be hearty if it wants to survive around here. I have books everywhere. My great aunt once had the foundation of her house crack because she had stockpiled so many canned goods. (Living through the depression can do that to you.) I suspect at some point all the books in my house will crack my foundation. They are piled in corners and I fear they may begin to protest the rough treatment. I’m so out numbered it’s hard to know what they could get up to. With my stack of to-be-read getting higher all the time there is the very real risk I may be crushed to death. I can think of worse ways to go.
Are you good to your books?