Ten Things That Drive Books Crazy

Rachel Cordasco

Staff Writer

Rachel Cordasco has a Ph.D in literary studies and currently works as a developmental editor. When she's not at her day job or chasing three kids, she's writing reviews and translating Italian speculative fiction. She runs the website, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Ever wished your books could speak to you? (I mean, literally “speak,” and not in the “oooooh that book spoke to me on a whole new level” sense.) Well, guess what? They can. They just choose not to ’cause they’re really, really polite. Now, I’m sure that many of you treat your books like babies, like royalty, like priceless museum pieces, but there are those of us (yes, I include myself), who don’t treat our books so nicely sometimes. We aren’t gentle, we don’t hold them while wearing cotton gloves, and we toss them around like they’re so much paper and print. So, for those of us who need a dose of book-handling reality, here are ten grievances you should be aware of. (How did I come across these? Well, last night, there was a knock on my door and I opened it to find a sheet of paper stuck on it with a quill. The paper bore the following ten grievances. I present them to you, terribly humbled. And a little freaked out).

1. We hate when you dog-ear our pages. How would YOU like it if we bent one of your arms back unnaturally and then left it there until we felt like dealing with you at a later date? Huh? How would you like that?

2. If you must mark us up (underlining, commenting, etc.), do it with a gel-pen. Those cheap ballpoint pens hurt like a %^&$#%.

3. We do not wish to be in alphabetical order. Instead, we’d prefer to be ordered by philosophical outlook. That way, fights won’t break out as often. And a book fight…well, let’s just say it AIN’T PRETTY.

4. Don’t lend us out to just anybody. Would you say to your friend who always loses and breaks stuff, “here! You can borrow my child. No, no, keep him for as long as you want! When I want him back, I’ll just ask. You’ll have him handy, right? Enjoy!” Well, unless you’re an unbelievably bad parent, you wouldn’t do that. So why do it to us? I mean, you bought us and read us (ok, most of us), so you at least care a little bit. Just use your brains, people.

5. Letting the dog chew on us is not ok. Give him a damn bone or something.

6. We are not paperweights. You want a paperweight? Buy a freakin’ snow-globe.

7. We don’t appreciate being sold. You ever take a science class? Ever heard about the delicate balance of ecosystems or whatever? Yeah, chew on that, ecosystem-wrecker.

8. Do not stuff us into purses or backpacks that are already stuffed. Would you toss a gorgeous celebrity into a chain restaurant packed with lowly regular people? Of course not!

9. Library books are just as deserving of your respect as those of us that you own. Don’t be such a hater.

10. And last but not least…if you MUST take us to the beach or any place in which sand or gravel or grass or twigs are involved, transport us in special leather carrying cases and don’t let us get dirty. When was the last time you heard of a book taking a shower? Exactly.


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