January 28, 2010
A rather adorable bookish girl came into the coffee shop sometime last week, hugging to her a black-and-yellow cloth-bound hardback book. She looked like a serious reader; there was something about the haircut and the glasses.
By entering my peripheral vision while waiting for Mitch to make me my daily latte in my Pencil Mug, she caused me to muse on a habit I’ve started noticing with myself lately, that of jettisoning book jackets whilst reading. Her book clearly had been relieved of its jacket, and I find that, almost exclusively these days, I too remove them before reading. Those jackets sit on my bedside table, or, if I’m having a fit of compulsive neatness, I sometimes re-shelve the jackets, sans book, in the slot of my bookcase where the book itself would normally go. Once I am done with the book, back on the jacket goes.
I find that, though decorative, book jackets get in the way. They fall off. Or they get squashed or bent, which makes me all tense. Sometimes I do like to use one flap of a book jacket as an ersatz bookmark, tucking it in to mark my page, but that’s its only functional purpose, and stops working so well if I’m any good distance into the book. Also, it gives me the clenches when the book I’m reading has a book jacket that is starting to migrate, get out of line, stick up above the edges of my book. Am I just weird? How do you deal with book jackets?
(I do know that many of my friends source most of their hardbacks through the library, in which case they’re stuck with an indelible, crinkly-plastic library binding jacket. So, those don’t count, because you cannot remove them).
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