Bookmarks or Dog-ears?

The earlier post about reading rituals made me want to get more specific. I treat my books like shit–I use them as coasters, I stack them and throw them around, break softcover spines–but for some reason I don’t like to dog-ear my pages. It just doesn’t feel right. Do you dog-ear? Do you use the front and back flaps of the jacket cover as a bookmark?

22 thoughts on “Bookmarks or Dog-ears?

  1. I dog ear and use bookmarks and break spines too but I don’t like anything to mar, scratch, dent, of otherwise affect the cover. I love the smooth surface of a cover. I like the sleek feel. tmi?

  2. Dog-earring drives me nuts! I understand why they work for some, but I’m not strong enough to not see them.

    For whatever reason dog-ears continually threaten to break me from the “dream” of reading. If reading is a flowing stream and the reader is the wooden raft, dog-ears are the jutting rocks that say: You are on a raft, not a stream.

  3. I’ve just gotten over my aversion to spinebreaking. Another 20 years and I’ll be able to dog-ear…

    I use magazine subscription cards for bookmarks, and sticky notes for marking places. One time I inadvertently did the reverse, and it really discombobulated my reading.

      • Mass market paperbacks. Fat ones are tough to keep open if you *don’t* do it. From there, it was a slippery slope.

        I’d never do it to anyone else’s book, though. I’d dog-ear my own first, which is saying something.

  4. No problem taking notes right in a book. Sometimes I use two color pens. Love a good bookmark (if you send me a promotional one, like J.A. does with his MLP books, I will keep it). But I do not dog-ear. It leaves a permanent remnant of a temporary pause – which seems like it’d be interesting, but it’s just frustrating.

    My wife dog-ears. Sometimes in my books.

  5. You know, all of this brings to mind “Never Do That to a Book”, an essay in Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. In it, she distinguishes between “courtly” and “carnal” booklovers, “carnal” as those who treat books as “wantonly as desire and pragmatism” dictates, while so-called courtly booklovers are characterized as kid-gloved fusspots.

    • I’m so happy you said fusspots. But really, that’s a little too binary. Some elements of a book I like to preserve, while others I like to abuse. Also, different books call for different treatment. It’s kind of a protestant, personal relationship with each unique book thing.

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