Bookish posts · personal

Why I Love my Ugly & Beat up Books

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There are a lot of aesthetically pleasing, pristine looking books out in the world. Some people get very passionate about keeping their books is amazing shape. And I get it, because I used to be exactly like that. Never breaking spines, dog-earing writing on the pages.

But I did a complete 180 on that front. It’s not like I deliberately ruin my books, but I completely stopped caring about ‘keeping them pristine’. It made me stressed and sometimes even pulled me out of the story. Today, a beat up book means a well-loved book for me.

I’ve been wanting to talk about this subject for a while now, but I was quite hesitant. The reasons is that on BookTube and in the book blogging community, I constantly see people judging others for how they treat their books. People leaving hate comments on videos of my favorite BookTubers because they fold the corners of their own books, or drop a book on the floor at the end of a video. Of course, if you want to keep your books pristine, go ahead, it’s your book, but don’t judge others for not doing the same thing!

In my opinion, books are meant to be read. To be enjoyed. To be devoured. And I enjoy the experience more when I don’t keep my books pristine. For me, my most ragged books are also my most loved ones.

My copy of The Shadow of The Wind has coffee spilled on one of the pages, dirt on the edges and the color of the cover is wearing off on one side, because that’s where I’ve rested the book while reading it. I put tabs in the places of my favorite quotes, and often go back to them.

My copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has writing on the first page, because I wrote down what date I got it. (I was eleven, my mom bought it for me for Christmas). I love that I wrote that down, and now cherish that memory. It also has lots of page folds in it from all the times I’ve read it. One time I accidentally dropped it while I fell asleep reading it in the middle of the night, and there is now forever a crease in the book to remind me of that. And I love that.

My beat up books are my most loved books, and I like it that way.

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7 thoughts on “Why I Love my Ugly & Beat up Books

  1. I have some books that I want to keep really clean and perfect because in our household, we collect books and then later give them to the library or sell them. But then there are some books that have sentimental value and those are the ones that are really beat up and still miraculously hanging!
    For the books that are literally falling apart though, I plan to turn them into art journals xD
    So as you can see, I either destroy books and turn them into art or keep books in perfect condition to try passing them on or selling them later!
    Kanra Khan

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    1. Totally get that you want to keep books looking clean if you want to sell them later! I actually LOVE the idea of turning books into art, I might steal that idea because I’m constantly looking for new arty ideas to incorporate in my journal (that’s more or less an art journal now, haha).

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  2. I love how you bring this subject up. My own copies of HP 1-3 are all beat up, the spines are basically almost gone, but it shows how much I’ve read them and adored them. Totally love this! I try to be careful with chunky mass paperbacks because their spines are so delicate, but like you said– each mark/fold/stain is just more love ❤️

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  3. I loved reading this post, I am a pristine book person. I get it from my dad who is exactly the same. I don’t judge others for spine bending or folding pages but I only let people borrow my books who respect how I treat mine. I do own loads of chairty books that are ragged and worn, I just look after my new ones possibly too obsessivly 🙈

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    1. To each their own! I totally get that this is something you still do because your dad is exactly the same. Kind of awesome how we have the same traits as our parents sometimes. 🙂 When I borrow a book from someone I keep it pristine too, and never break spines etc, but my own books are a different story haha.

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  4. This is such a cute post! None of my books are in pristine condition -perhaps because most of them are secondhand haha but I don’t care much for keeping my books in mint condition. As long as there are no torn pages and no spills on the books I’m happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also have a lot of secondhand books, so many aren’t in mint condition to begin with. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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