Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Say Yes/Maybe/No to Crack(ing the Spine of a New Book)

Pop quiz. When reading a new paperback book, do you:
  1. Carefully preserve the integrity of the spine, delicately parting the pages just far enough to read and never far enough to cause a dreaded crack?
  2. Try not to crack the spine but don't care that much and sometimes wind up cracking it anyway?
  3. Gleefully crack the book wide open, unblemished spine be damned?
I'm a #3 all the way, a straight up cracker (er, you know what I mean),* always happy when I get far enough into a book to make the first preliminary crack and happier still when I get to that substantial middle-crack point and the book will at last lay flat with no inclination to close on its own. I have friends who find my attitude abhorrent, and of course, I find their worship of the pristine spine hopelessly nerdy. But we manage to get along. (Even if they really are total nerds.)

Place your vote.**

* Though when I borrow a book, I do try to respect the proclivities of the owner.

** Of course, this will all be rendered moot by the new era of tablet/e-reader/whatchyamathingies. Maybe they can provide a virtual "crack"/"don't crack" toggle option.


  1. Gleeful cracker!

  2. Not only do I carefully avoid opening the book too far, but I also will try to soften the spine of a new book by opening it at various random points and stretching it tenderly. Call me what you like!

  3. Teresa6:51 PM

    #2, but recent events have made me wonder if I may be subconsiously a #1. Upon loaning a recently read book to a friend, she exclaimed "wow, it doesn't even look like it's been opened."

    I got a Kindle for xmas and find it easier to read in bed, but that's my only compliment.

  4. I"m a book destroyer, almost. A book chiropractor. #3. I even write notes in them.

  5. I, for one, do not read "paperbacked" books.

  6. Anonymous11:46 AM

    Yeah,Cellar. (Is your last name "Door"?

    Gotta talk back to those know-it-alls. Politely, of course.

  7. craic-head2:21 PM

    I crack 'em out the wazoo.