There is nothing better than buying a brand new book. The pages are perfect, the spine is absolutely pristine, and we can’t forget that new book smell. When it’s in this condition, it’s like the book is waiting in anticipation to be picked up and read. I can’t deny loving to buy new books. I love everything about a new book. However, I don’t exactly want my books to stay that way.
Most people try to keep their books in this pristine condition and more power to them if that’s what they want. But I enjoy a truly battered book. All of my favorite books have the spines broken bringing up those familiar white lines. They have folded pages and corners of spots that I want to keep coming back to. They already have that old book smell you get with library books over 15 years old but my book is only about 7. Books that have been broken in feel like old friends when I pick them up. They are familiar in my hands and they bring me back to the joy (or sorrow, or wonderment) I felt when first picking up the book.
A new book is full of anticipation. Will it be good? Will I like the characters? Will I enjoy this author’s writing style? But a beaten in, old book holds a story you know you love. You can find details you don’t remember, or maybe you’re like me and you tend to skip ahead when the suspense is too much so you’ve missed entire pages.
If my book is pristine on my shelf that means I didn’t love it enough to reread it. It means I don’t keep coming back to that book and I think nothing is sadder than a forgotten book still pristine on my shelf. Sometimes I just haven’t had time yet, or the book is new because my old one fell apart so much that I was no longer able to read it (IE my brand new Harry Potter collection). And sometimes I got the book from the library and just recently picked it up for my own collection. Either way, the books I own will all eventually have broken spines and folded pages and I couldn’t be happier about it.