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Culture Vulture

Loving a book to bits

Readers who dog-ear pages are not abusing books

Published on Jun 3, 2014 12:00 PM

A friend recently sent me a link to a column on The Guardian's books blog: "How well do you treat books?" asks writer Alison Flood, before going on to detail how she destroys the copies she loves.

"Their battered, dog-eared state is testament to my love for them," she writes. "The battering, I think, just improves the flavour."

As evidence, she posts a picture of one poor novel she ripped in half because she wanted to share it with someone on holiday and didn't want to lug the entire tome around.

I could practically hear the throat clearing over the Internet. The said friend who'd forwarded me the piece is also the one who has endured for years my constant reminders not to break my books' spines or dog-ear their pages when I lend them to her. In our decade-long friendship, I've clucked my tongue pedantically every time I saw her toting a bashed-up book and shuddered in horror every time I saw her turn down a corner instead of using a bookmark.

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