As part of Saturday’s World Book Night events thousands of books were given away with the idea that they would be read, loved and passed on… again and again.
I spent the evening at Glasgow’s sumptuous Mitchell Library where as part of the Aye Write festival Sarah Waters was talking about her book Fingersmith, which was one of the titles included in the giveaway.
What’s not to love about sharing books?
On the face of it you’re passing on a treasure to a friend, allowing someone to discover something new, preserving the environment and fighting against the rise and rise of the e-reader.
But last week’s book group discussion made me realise that it’s not always the case. (We were chatting about Nigel Farndale’s Blasphemer – which got a resounding “OK” and is a case of far too many ideas and too few sympathetic characters cluttering up some excellent writing)
One of the girls mentioned that one of the others always read in the bath so her books had that those puffy, wavy edges.
Another shuddered and said she was getting better, but she really didn’t like books that had a ‘handled’ look.
Someone told of a friend who doesn’t even break the spine of a book. I imagined reading from a half-open book must be like not standing up straight or wearing shoes that are too small.
Then there was the fold or not fold to keep your place debate. I do – is it bad form? And while I don’t read in the bath often enough, I have been known to leave greasy fingermarks and crumbs between the pages. I think it shows evidence of a book well relished.
So how do you like yours? And, furthermore, would you like mine when I’m done with it?