How Do You Deal With Damaged Books?

Today, we’re delving into a topic that fills me with dread and anxiety: the idea of damage being inflicted upon my cherished books.

As someone who views each book as a precious treasure, the mere thought of pages bending, covers creasing, or spines cracking sends a shudder through my bookish soul. Is this a seemingly irrational attachment to the pristine condition of my beloved tomes based on a childhood trauma? Who knows!

My husband often jokes that his re-read books are so well-loved that they’ve practically ‘fallen to bits.’ I must confess, I’m absolutely horrified by this concept. The idea that a beloved book could suffer such a fate leaves me feeling as though I’m witnessing a tragedy unfold before my eyes. Each crease and tear feels like a tiny stab to the heart, a mark of disregard for the beautiful narrative that once lived within the pages.

Call me sentimental, but my books are some of my most precious objects. They hold stories, worlds, and emotions that have the power to transport me to places both magical and poignant. That’s precisely why I only take my Kindle out and about: it safeguards the pristine nature of my physical copies. I can’t bear the thought of subjecting my dear books to the risks of travel or the possibility of being mistreated by others.

I also have a no-lending policy. The very idea makes me wince. My horror isn’t unfounded. I’ve had a friend who, with the best of intentions, treated my book’s spine as though it were a gymnast’s back, performing acrobatic feats by bending it wide open. The mental image still haunts me. It’s a trauma I’m not eager to revisit. The trauma of a damaged book is etched into my memory, albeit with only a few instances. The ones that required replacement were childhood favourites and one unfortunate victim of a swimming bag’s untimely demise. Each instance feels like a personal tragedy, an irreplaceable loss of something that held memories and meaning.

Yes, my bookish horror at the thought of damaging my precious books might seem irrational to some, but to fellow book lovers who share my sentiment, it’s a deep-seated attachment that reflects our reverence for literature. Each page, each cover, and each spine is a sacred portal into another world. So, if you ever spot me treating my books with an almost care, know that it’s a testament to the magic that these tomes hold—a testament to the stories that have woven themselves into the fabric of my soul.


About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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