Once upon a time, in a Facebook group of usually positive and supportive readers, I was torn apart for posting a picture of a book I was reading. Why? Not because of the book’s title or anything like that.
But because of a small dog-ear on the page I was currently reading.
Firstly, I couldn’t believe the amount of public shaming that could occur from a small bend in a page of paper. Didn’t these people have better things to do? Books to read?
But since I’m an avid reader and book lover/blogger myself, I decided to delve a bit deeper into exactly why dog-ears bother people.
Here’s what I found via a very insightful Twitter thread I started, asking if people dog-ear or not, and if they hate it, exactly why they do:
54% of you said you either deplore dog-earing a page or you prefer not to. Reasons for not dog-earing include liking bookmarks better, having OCD or anxiety about bent pages, wanting to keep the book looking new as long as possible, and fears of damaging the book.
However, a solid 46% of you said you do dog-ear your books. Reasons for dog-earing include not having enough bookmarks around, wanting to mark interesting pages, and liking an ‘aged’ looking book. One responder went so far as to say books are meant to grow a person so they should dog-ear, write in it, or whatever they want. Some people made it clear they’d only dog-ear their own personal books.
Now, here’s my take.
First, I agree that dog-earing could be considered damaging a book and its worth so I don’t think it is right to dog-ear books that don’t belong to you, such as library books or one borrowed from a friend.
THAT SAID, if it’s your own personal book you bought and own? I don’t see the problem. Yes, I prefer a bookmark or random scrap of paper, but if times are tough and there’s nothing around? Dang right, I dog-ear the page. My books are my books, and I’ve learned over time that people have all sorts of ways of interacting with them. Some people even write in their books, folks. (Which, granted, I don’t do because it would bother me, but I don’t give a holler if somebody else does it in their own personal book.)
Bottom line, your book, your choice. Let’s agree, as a community of book lovers, not to shame other people for their book choices, whether that’s the genre they enjoy the most, characters they love or hate, or even if they write in or dog-ear the pages.
I don’t know about my fellow book bloggers, but I came here for the variety. I’m allowed to not agree with a blogger’s opinion on a book, a book character or even their book habits, of course. But I would never shame them for it.
Because when you feel shame for your book preferences, you don’t share them. And if bloggers and our readers aren’t sharing, then what kind of a community will we have?
Do you dog-ear your books? Why or why not? I’d also love to hear your other ‘bad’ book habits and no worries, no shame here. 🙂