Monday, April 11, 2011

People For Ethical Treatment of Books

I went on Your Pants the other day, and saw one post that I can't find now, but basically it said something about Nerdfighters uniting to buy old and unwanted books from eBay to save them from being kindling for someone's fireplace.
I was so touched by this post and by the fact that there are still people like that that I felt the consuming urge to decrease some Literary World Suck, however my zeal turned out to be a fiasco; a startlingly outlandish reaction for a person who haven't slept for three days, right? In the end I just told myself I would catch up on saving books from little bookstores going bankrupt and illiterateness. Plus I got a headache. So I am sorry, I feel like this post is being written by somebody else (maybe that's because you're seeing double vision, neither of which is probably even close to the real distance between the eyes and the screen?). Sorry if I don't make much sense. It's just the headache (not really, it's just an excuse. We've reached this point of BEDA. But then again, I really see double).


Throughout the years I have developed a continuously growing weakness for  books. When I was younger I liked to read them. It didn't matter if it was an interesting story or just a label on a product (technically I enjoyed Harry Potter more than a hair conditioner label, but the point is that I just had to read always). I remember this one time when I went to doctor and had nothing to read. There was only one sheet of paper hanging on the wall, something about vaccinations and I read it again and again.
Now I am not as obsessed but that probably stems from my constant lack of time. It's difficult to read my school books on time (or sometimes to read them at all) and even if I have some 30 minutes I can devote to reading I instantly fall asleep.

Not being able to have a proper relationship with books I still have a lot of respect for them. So I am sad when I go to the attic and find all these books, scattered on a floor or  jam-packed in cardboard boxes, still unpacked after we've moved here (1996. Still waiting for a minute to do this).

I get this feeling when I come into an antique shop and see all these books that owners are desperate to sell as no one reads them. Or libraries when I see that a book that interested me was last borrowed 5 years ago.

I like everything about books. I like getting them new, because the smell is just incomparable but getting them from a library is awesome too as I feel I share something with other people on these pages.
The view of books that are lost, unwanted, abandoned make me want to punch their owners in the face.
However I know people who would open a book in gloves only so that it doesn't get dirty or people who scream like slaughtered pheasants when they see me marking a quote in a book.

I confess. I do mark quotes in books. IN PENCIL. And then with stickies. And I WRITE LITTLE NOTES IN PENCIL.
Am I therefore a bad reader? I feel that this makes me a more critical reader, the one that will take the book more analytically. Or maybe I just don't respect books? Do you mark sentences in books as well?

I am sorry that this post sucks so much, as I said, the constant partying in my head is getting really obnoxious. I was meaning to get to the point, but I don't see it any closer than it was at the beginning so:
I think that books too might need some protection. That we, conscious and eager readers should be the ones that protect them. So I'm putting the president of People For Ethical Treatment of Books society as a number two on my dream jobs list.
I am going to sleep now. Good night.

Song of the day: I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
(this one revolves around my top favorite songs)


  1. I do that too... Write in books. With pencil!
    I don't feel like it's disrespectful. I see it as a sign of care and interest! :)

  2. I don't write in books. But I use millions of post-its to mark places with quotes I want to return to. :)

  3. I like the idea that reading a book isn't an entirely individual experience. Reading what someone else jotted down or underlined can give you a different person's perspective on that passage, even if it's only the smallest of marks. I also hate reading crisp, clean books because I feel like I'm hurting their pristine nature and by reading them I'm ruining them. In contrast, I feel like reading a well-loved library book makes me want to love it too. I feel less pressure to keep the book perfect which leaves me happier to just enjoy what I'm reading. But it was a really interesting point to bring up!