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How I treat my books:

Displaying poll results.
Fine and valuable art: protect, preserve, safeguard
  3425 votes / 21%
Ordinary possessions: Respect, don't fret over
  7921 votes / 48%
Working tools, but careful: Post-Its and pencil
  2005 votes / 12%
Pfui! Margin Doodles and notes -- in ink.
  535 votes / 3%
Once in a while I shake out the sand and food.
  536 votes / 3%
I just back-up and recharge them once in a while.
  1753 votes / 10%
16175 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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How I treat my books:

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  • by MRe_nl (306212) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:48PM (#41376697)

    Once in a while I shake out the weed and tobacco.

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:25PM (#41378061) Journal

      I assign different value to different groups of books, and treat them accordingly, with anything from near-reverence to near-contempt.

      Some of the books are certainly of little value (loads of cheap paperback novels, etc.). Others are of value and treated with respect (many textbooks, reference books, hardcover classics, etc.). Some have special value for one or other reason, like an atlas from the 1930s, or those which originally cost a few hundred euro each.

      • exactly I treasure my small colection of antique books but some books (mostly paper back) are lucky to survive. As for the last book in the in inheritance cycle it is just lucky that i didn't throw it through the wall. Worst ending to a swords and sorcery book series ever.

      • by kenj0418 (230916) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @09:09PM (#41382429)

        I assign different value to different groups of books, and treat them accordingly, with anything from near-reverence to near-contempt.

        This reminded me of a scene in "The Day After Tomorrow" where they are trapped in a library and several characters are debating which of several classic books they were going to burn to keep warm. Then someone else walks in: "Uh... 'scuse me? You guys? Yeah... there's a whole section on tax law down here that we can burn." *problem solved*

      • The Bodleian library in Oxford was once like you. They thought nobody but the commoners would like this Shakespeare nonsense so didn't bother to collect any of his works when they were first published. The same was thought of the Victorian novel. As time progressed these were considered great works of literature and the library (or really, anyone else) had copies of the first editions. These days (about 600 years later) they've learned from experience and the Bod keeps copies of damn near everything pub
    • by antdude (79039)

      Ew. And no wonder you don't get anyone else in your bed. [grin]

      • by MRe_nl (306212)

        LOL.
        Unless you like to smoke weed and read books, in which case it's golden.
        Also: Amsterdam.

    • by mooingyak (720677)

      Here I was thinking that would end with "Try not to pee on them"

    • Going threw school, Teachers have tried to ingrain to treat books like gold and fine art...
      However it is just a book, for the most part it was a mass produced book without anything really valuable about it. It it was a hundred year old masterpiece yes, treat it as an antique, but for the most part a book is just a book, it's value is in its content, not in condition of the paper.

      Now books are expensive, and you should treat them like anything you want to keep, but unless not like rare Gems no matter how go

  • Depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheSwift (2714953) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @12:50PM (#41376735)
    My friend recently found a 200+ year old copy of Paradise Lost in a hole-in-the-wall bookstore when he was on London. Certain ones are worth protecting, especially when the works are timeless.
    • by HornWumpus (783565) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @04:16PM (#41379641)
      Jennings: Don't write this down, but I find Milton probably as boring as you find Milton. Mrs. Milton found him boring too. He's a little bit long-winded, he doesn't translate very well into our generation, and his jokes are terrible.
      [Bell rings, students rise to leave]
      Jennings: But that doesn't relieve you of your responsibility for this material. Now I'm waiting for reports from some of you... Listen, I'm not joking. This is my job!
      • by macshit (157376)

        Eh?! I dunno about the rest of Milton's stuff, but Paradise Lost really is a great book.

        Yeah, it's very slow to read, but the language is absolutely mesmerizing and affecting.

    • by jd (1658)

      The works don't have to be timeless - at least, not in the sense they were originally intended in. I have a book on DIY, philosophy and physics from 1776. (Yes, one book covers all three topics. No, I have not tried making any of the fireworks it gives recipes for.) Most of the science is plain wrong (thunder is NOT caused by the evapration of gunpowder), most of the DIY is impractical (gold leaf isn't exactly sold in corner stores) and most of the philosophy is... dodgy to say the least. On the other hand,

  • Are we talking academic books here? In any case I'm in the process of divesting myself of my vast collection of books except for a handful, the Nook has taken over and I need the shelf space.Yes, I have two Nooks and backups as well.

    • by ThorGod (456163)

      Blah, not interested in buying all my books over again. Especially not the several 100 dollar textbooks (yes, I still use them after graduation).

      • Careful. Those $100 textbooks aren't meant to last. When textbooks were cheaper,some of them were well made-- but the modern stuff is crap, designed to be in "Fair" condition by the end of the semester.

  • all my possessions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:18PM (#41377157)

    Pretty much all my possessions are treated as ordinary, don't fret over.
    Out of all my possessions I think the one I'm most careful with is my passport, simply because when you're traveling, as long as you have that you can get the fuck out of the country. After that would be my debit card, and my keys.
    Everything else is treated the same way.
    I try to keep everything in a good state, but if it breaks, too bad, throw away.
    My parents taught me at an early age that you shouldn't spend your time worrying about all your things.
    They're there to be used, and at some point they're used up.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I was somewhat torn between 'fine and valuable art' and 'ordinary possessions', since I tend to treat my ordinary possessions as carefully as fine and valuable art in general anyway.

      It's definitely true that I shouldn't spend time worrying about random possessions, but if you're a relatively careful individual who doesn't treat anything roughly in general, it's just second nature to not beat the hell out of your possessions, important or otherwise.

      Why? Shit lasts longer that way. Have I ever bought an 'ex

      • by samazon (2601193) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:40PM (#41379081)
        People dog-ear my books, I straighten it regardless of whether they're using it as a bookmark. That's just... inexcusable.
        • by Kjella (173770)

          I do that to my books, at least the read-once fiction paperbacks... but wouldn't dream of doing it to someone else's book. Just like I don't want people to smoke in my apartment, but if they want to smoke in theirs go right ahead. Then again since most of my books are read-once, I'd probably just give it away rather than loan it away if someone else took interest in one.

        • by mlts (1038732) *

          I have never dog-eared a book in my life. There is always *something* around that can be used as a bookmark as long as it doesn't stain, leave residue on the paper, or otherwise damage the book in some way. Worst case, grab a clean paper towel.

  • by samazon (2601193) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:19PM (#41377169)
    My books are arranged in stacks against the wall, Hoarders-style (minus the garbage and in an otherwise tidy and uncluttered room which happens to be ... ok, so my guest room and my living room but still) - as my bookshelves have not yet been built. Or bought. Some have post-its and pen notes, most have quite worn bindings from extensive reading... Not fine & valuable art, nor simply "respected" ... "loved" might be the best description for it.
  • All of the above (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:26PM (#41377255) Homepage
    Depending on the book it could be any of the options. I have some 100+ year old leather bound books and some first printings of other books which fall in the protect and preserver category. On the other end of the spectrum I have some of my books that fall in the category of wipe the blood, dirt, and/or grease off of (map books for hunting and auto repair manuals). The books that are job related get written in and have post-its stuffed in them where as my recreational books I keep in good condition but nothing like the protect and preserve category.
    • My thoughts, exactly.

      I have several books autographed by the author and some first editions that I "protect and preserve." There are quite a few that were good reads that I may either read again, use as a reference or lend. Those kind of fall into the "ordinary posessions" catgeory that I take care of but they can, at worst, easily be replaced. Technical books, hiking books, cook books, etc. get written in, dog-earred, spilled on, dropped in streams, dumped on the floor, etc. I have started getting my t

  • It really irks me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yaztromo (655250) <`yaztromo' `at' `mac.com'> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:38PM (#41377441) Homepage Journal

    ...when I lend a book and:

    • ...find out the borrower is one of those people who needs to bend the front cover so it touches the back cover, destroying the spine in the process,
    • ...find out the borrower is one of those people who love to read in the bath, and get it back with the pages all warped such that it will never close properly again (either because of steam, or more likely being dropped into the bath water),
    • ...find out the borrower apparently doesn't own a bookmark, or any other scrap of paper, and needs to dog-ear the pages to mark their place. I may not mind so much if they would unfold the pages prior to returning it, instead of giving it back with the corners of 50 pages or so folder over,
    • ...find out the borrower has lost it (or in one case, the entire freaking series -- and that case was with my own mother of all people!)
    • ...find out the borrower has lent it to a friend/relative/co-worker of theirs, without my knowledge or permission, and that person has done one of the above (which just makes the problem worse if the original borrower has also done one or more of the above.

    I'm good to my books. I have many that are decades old, have been read dozens of times, but are otherwise no worse for wear. They live on a nice shelf, and aren't abused when they're read.

    But when it comes to loaning them out to friends and family, I seem to have the worst of luck. I've had all of the above happen to my books. I've had it with people who, if they were to borrow something like my car would treat it well, and even fill it up with gas and wash it before returning it -- but lend them a book and all bets are off. It seems that the vast majority of the time they are either lost completely, or I get them back and they're virtually destroyed. Suffice to say, I've got to the point where I don't lend books anymore.

    Yaz

    • It may be because my books tend to be bought cheaply used when they're not from the library, but I was delighted when my copy of Magical Thinking that I lent to my friend got lent to his friend who lent it to her sister, and I have no idea where it is now. And one of my favorite books, East of Eden, was lent to me by a close friend from high school, who told me to keep it when I finished it and tried to return it.

      To me, East of Eden will still be East of Eden to me, whether it's my friend's copy, a new copy

      • by Yaztromo (655250) <`yaztromo' `at' `mac.com'> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @03:05PM (#41378601) Homepage Journal

        It may be because my books tend to be bought cheaply used when they're not from the library, but I was delighted when my copy of Magical Thinking that I lent to my friend got lent to his friend who lent it to her sister, and I have no idea where it is now. And one of my favorite books, East of Eden, was lent to me by a close friend from high school, who told me to keep it when I finished it and tried to return it.

        I find that attitude to be completely noble.

        My only rebuttal would be that say that in many of my cases, the books were either rare and/or out of print, and couldn't be replaced. Probably not an issue with something like East of Eden. With only a few exceptions, I don't tend to buy books that are readily available at bookstores and the public library -- if they're readily available at the library, like you I'll just sign it out (or, in the case of classics for which copyright has expired, get them from Project Gutenburg and read them on my iPad). I've bought the ones that I can't normally readily find for when I want to re-read them.

        Being the kind of person who tries to be decent and generous, I'm usually happy to lend my books out -- I know some of them are hard to find, and if someone is interested, I'm happy to share. Unless, of course, they have a history of losing or destroying my books.

        Some examples that have gone missing from my collection. The trade paperback versions of the first three books in George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series. My first paperback copy of "The English Patient", which was lent to one person, who lent it to someone else, who lent it to a third party, who dropped it into their bathwater, and then dried it out in a manner where it became impossible to close it without an elastic band. I subsequently lent it out again to a fourth party who lost and never returned it. A copy of an RPG spell book I had bought in the US back in the mid 80's, which so far as I can tell was never available here in Canada, and which is now long out of print which was lent to a friend and lost. A copy of a book by a former Prime Minister, which had been personally signed and inscribed by said former Primer Minister was lost (it's hard to fault the borrower in this case -- he was completely trustworthy (my own grandfather), but unfortunately died before the book was returned, and it disappeared).

        I'm currently reading Anna Karenina in (free) e-Book format. When I'm finished reading it, I won't care what happens to it. But when it comes to the books I put on my shelves, it pains me greatly when someone mistreats or loses them. At the same time, I find joy in sharing them with others who will care for them as I have (which seems to be why I keep lending out books. But every time I do it's like they're going off to war, and I'm never really sure if I'll ever see them whole again).

        Yaz

      • by microTodd (240390)

        Yes! You are awesome! Books (IMHO) are meant to be shared. And like you said, nowadays with amazon et al are usually easily replaced.

        In fact, if I read a really good book I will write my name on the inside cover, then send it to someone and tell them when they are done to write their name under mine and give it to someone else and so on. I've done this with 5 or 6 books so far this year. I happily wonder sometimes how far they've (the books) made it and how many people got the chance to read it for fre

    • .But when it comes to loaning them out to friends and family, I seem to have the worst of luck. I've had all of the above happen to my books.

      Don't you know this is what copyright law is for. You should be aware that most lending of published works is illegal. This is not to inconvenience you, but rather to inconvenience criminals who may vandalise your possessions.

      Lending is giving away something for free, people do not respect "free" as much as paid for. This is why these restrictions are in place. To protect your property :)

      • by steveg (55825)

        Huh?

        No. No it's not. Not in any country I've ever heard of.

        Look up the Doctrine of First Sale.

        If you own a physical book, you can do anything with it you want. Lend it. Sell it. Give it away. Set it on fire.

        You can't copy it. *That* would be a violation of copyright. Short of that, though, copyright is not involved.

        • Okay, Maybe not copyright, but definietly what the publishers want.

          I just picked up a book in my office and was about to gleefully state how they try to license the book to you and try to save face by stating that I meerly used an incorrect terminology.

          "Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by the way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated....."

          But then for the first time ever, I read further. "...without the

          • The important clause is this one:

            in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is publihsed

            This is because publishers reduce costs for unsold books by allowing the retailers to destroy them if they return the cover. The cover is the proof that this is an authorised sale. If a book is sold without its cover, then it is impossible to tell whether or not it is one that was marked as a return by the publisher (and so neither the publisher nor the author received any money for it and the publisher ate the printing costs).

          • by steveg (55825)

            Well, you're certainly correct that publishers would *like* to eliminate the First Sale Doctrine. A few years back Pat Schroeder (former Congresswoman from Colorado, now head of the Assocation of American Publishers) went on record attacking libraries in the Washington Post. She's backed off from that now, but only to say that she was misunderstood.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If said book isn't closing properly after it's been read in the bath, they dropped it. I always read in the bathtub. And I like a nice long, hot bath, so there's absolutely no lack of moisture and steam in the air. And yet, only one part of a one of my books has had a visible wrinkling in an area, and that's because I accidentally didn't dry my hand off enough after submerging it, and a soaking thumb was pressed into the page. I think another book or two might have a slight wrinkle in the middle (invisi

      • by Yaztromo (655250) <`yaztromo' `at' `mac.com'> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @05:14PM (#41380395) Homepage Journal

        And if it's anything like when I attempted to play a Gameboy game in the tub through a ziplock bag, I imagine it'd be irritating as hell to use an e-reader through a ziplock bag as well.

        Sir/Madam, I doff my hat to you for even attempting to play a Gameboy through a ziplock bag in the tub. Whomever you are, I consider you a true connoisseur of the bath. Bravo!

        Yaz

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        I disagree. I've ruined more than one book having left it out overnight. Usually a book I read by a campfire. It was warped and never closed again. One night. Dew/humidity.
      • by Tuidjy (321055)

        > I imagine it'd be irritating as hell to use an e-reader through a ziplock bag as well.

        No, it actually is quite easy. I tried a few $10+ waterproof nook covers, and I liked them all less than a dirt cheap freezer zip-lock bag. It's not perfectly transparent, and gets worse with time, but at least with my Nook Color, it is perfectly usable, and damn cheap to replace.

        Just don't let your wife catch you using it to store food after it's too scuffed to use as a nook cover. :-)

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        I must admit, my idea of a good bath requires a novel, a drink and approximately 2 hours.

        I've never dropped a book in the bath, though I've loaned a couple out that have been returned worse for wear because the borrower had dropped it in the bath. I always keep a hand towel within reach for wiping my hands before touching a book when bathing.

        The biggest risk to my books when reading in the bath is that my cats like to come jump on me.

        I keep thinking I should try using my iPad in a ziplock bag while bathing

        • by mlts (1038732) *

          One idea might be to use a Foodsaver or other plastic sealer, put the iPad in that without the vacuum function, then make two seal lines on the top and bottom. It might not be 100%, but it should be good enough to keep any water out, but still preserving usability.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Books definitely get wrinkled with steam. Maybe it depends on how well ventilated the bathroom is. I usually close the door, etc., because ventilation means the water goes cold sooner.

        OTOH I dropped a book in the water just the other day and it escaped almost unscathed. It was a paperback and floated on a layer of bubbles barely touching the water.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      I don't read anywhere near as many books as I used to -- I post here instead D:

      I still buy books -- I have about 2 metres of unread and half-read books in a stack by my bed.

      ...find out the borrower apparently doesn't own a bookmark, or any other scrap of paper, and needs to dog-ear the pages to mark their place.

      About the only time I actually start reading a new book is on a long train or plane journey, so the used ticket makes a good bookmark. It's just lazy to bend the pages -- there's always some kind of scrap of paper available. If I really had nothing else, I'd use paper money, or note the page number in my phone.

      The book I'm "reading" n

      • by Yaztromo (655250) <`yaztromo' `at' `mac.com'> on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @05:11PM (#41380361) Homepage Journal

        The book I'm "reading" now has a train ticket to Luton Airport dated 14-JUN-2009. Can't remember where I was flying, but I clearly didn't get bored enough to finish the book.

        Frequently when I pull a book off my shelf it has either an old plane/train/bus ticket, an old museum ticket, or an old business card in it. It's interesting that because of this fact, reading a physical book often allows me to reminisce about other adventures, places I may have been to or the interesting things I was doing the last time I read said book. It's one of those little joys, and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who is fond of them.

        Yaz

    • by vux984 (928602)

      ...find out the borrower apparently doesn't own a bookmark, or any other scrap of paper, and needs to dog-ear the pages to mark their place.

      I'm personally perpetually amazed by people who cannot remember where they were. Usually i have the presense of mind to look at the page number before i flip it shut, but even when I don't I generally know 'about how far in' i was, and can find my place within a few moments by skimming.

      And if I've left a book sit so long that I can't remember my place; then picking it u

      • by Yaztromo (655250)

        PS Your username caught my attention; is that a reference to the Yaztromo of the Fighting Fantasy paperback-rpgs? I was a huge fan as a kid... Forest of Doom was the first one I got, and I read that one to bits; so I made countless stops at Yaz's tree. Heh, thanks for the trip down memory lane.

        You are indeed correct -- that would be the original source.

        True story -- the first time I logged into a BBS system that required an alias back in '86 or '87, I was momentarily stumped. I had never used an alias anywhere before, and didn't have any particular nicknames, so I wasn't sure what to put. Not wanting the system to disconnect due to an input timeout, I reached for my bookshelf, grabbed the first book within reach, opened to a random page, and used the first name I came across, figuring "I can al

        • last time I saw that set was at the office of Tux Games... an entire cabinet: nothing but FF and spinoffs. It was an RPGers wet dream.

    • ...find out the borrower has lost it (or in one case, the entire freaking series -- and that case was with my own mother of all people!)

      Unfortunately, in my life, this person is my wife - I can't exactly stop her from reading (and losing) my books.

      Fortunately e-books have largely solved this problem. However she has lost a couple electronic devices...

    • by dargaud (518470)
      I solve those problems very simply: I give my books after reading them, instead of loaning them. Or I throw them away if they suck.
    • by oji-sama (1151023)

      ...when I lend a book and:

      • ...find out the borrower is one of those people who needs to bend the front cover so it touches the back cover, destroying the spine in the process,

      I used to have this problem with my co-workers, but we reached an agreement where when they break a spine, I get to break theirs.

      I kid, but after I kindly requested that they don't destroy my books, I've gotten them back in reasonable condition. (Although I do cringe a bit when the books go camping. (But still consider it reasonable)) Most of my books aren't that valuable as such, I only wish I could remember where they are. Most do come back though.

    • by macshit (157376)

      ...find out the borrower apparently doesn't own a bookmark, or any other scrap of paper, and needs to dog-ear the pages to mark their place.

      It's yet another nice feature of Japanese publishing that a large proportion of Japanese fiction, even cheap paperbacks*, come with a built-in bookmark in the form of a small sewn-in ribbon.

      * "bunko," the most common form of paperback in Japan, are a wonder—they use flexible thin paper of much higher quality than American paperbacks, and as a result the books are also both flexible and thin (and so easy to read one-handed on the train!), yet very durable and easy to read (the better paper allows high

    • by grrrl (110084)

      the only action that was too much for me (aside from loss) is when I visited my mates house and my book that I had lent him was in the bathroom next to the toilet. YUK!!

      I refused to take it back. no, he didn't buy me a new one (and no, we're no longer friends).

  • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @01:48PM (#41377553)

    I think "ordinary possessions" and "working tools" are pretty much the same thing...

    I voted "working tools" since most of my books are exactly that, and I find notes-to-self made in pencil to be quite useful at times. I have however a couple of (almost) rare classic books on thermodynamics and a couple of novels that fall under option #1.

    On the other hand, comic-books are commodity art, so they fall under option #2. If I owned the original pencil/ink sketches of a classic comic-book, however, they would definitely fall under option #1.

  • Yes to sand and food -- I use books roughly -- but I would never intentionally desecrate one with pen or highlighter.
    • This, so much this. I would never intentionally mess with one of my books (except reference books/textbooks for work), but I take them to the beach, I read in the bath, I read at the dinner table - they get well worn. Rare is the hardback in my collection that doesn't have its dustjacket stitched up with duct tape.
  • Recharge only. My ebooks are straight from Amazon, so even if my Kindle was smashed, new copies would be downloaded on a replacement device.
  • ...are like nice old sneakers, used every once in a while, creased, and darkened.

    Borrowed books are like dress shoes, no scuffs, no creases, and rarely used.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @02:33PM (#41378151)

    Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.

    ~Anatole France

  • It really depends on the book. Reference books get written in like crazy. The margins tend to get filled with copious notes. Art and literature get treated with more respect, especially art books. My old and rare books get looked after quite well.

  • I am in doubt, I treat my books like ordinary possessions but also, once in a while I have to shake out the sand and food of the rest of my ordinary possessions, too. What would you chose?

  • by Jethro (14165) on Tuesday September 18, 2012 @05:04PM (#41380285) Homepage

    Books are something that should be used. Read them, lend them to people, trade them with stores, donate them to libraries when/if you don't want them anymore, but don't just leave them on a shelf (or worse yet, in a box). Most my books have creases and folded pages etc. The paperbacks all have spine-folds (even the ones that didn't come with them).

    Sure, I have some books that are actually collector items. Those are an exception. And I've read THOSE, too.

    Books are meant to be enjoyed in an active way, not cherished passively.

  • But I imagine this poll wasn't aimed people who collect science fiction first editions [lawrenceperson.com].

    And I'm adding to my library all the time [lawrenceperson.com].

    • But I imagine this poll wasn't aimed people who collect science fiction first editions

      On the other hand, this is slashdot.

  • Sold off almost all books years ago, and gave away many more. Just couldn't be bothered moving them every time.

    More to the point, there a perhaps a dozen books that I DO re-read regularly, and which I still own - Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail; Andy Warhol's Party Book; Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

    Everything else comes from the library* at no cost other than my admittedly high library fines. I find that 99% of what I read is stuff that I'll read once, and once only. Same for videos
    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      One of my great joys is to re-read a story I really enjoyed the first time around. I often find aspects to the story I missed on the first reading, event foreshadowing etc...

  • I find it embarrassing to have books on my shelves which were unread, or even appear so.

  • I voted "working tools", since I will, on occasion, make notes in pencil in a book. I occasionally find it interesting to find someone's notes in a book, so long as they don't interrupt the reading. But I've always made a point of taking especially good care of books, more so than most things I look after, and I'm usually pretty careful with things I look after.

    Books seem to me to be the physical incarnation of the continuity of culture and reason. They're as close to sacred objects as I see in my atheistic

    • Replying to undo improper mod. I found your comment insightful! I also see books as the closest thing to a sacred object that actually deserves the title. Most "sacred" artifacts are useless everyday objects that if they had no special value other than being a "sacred" item, you wouldn't give them a second look. They are not terribly useful items in and of themselves, but a book is a very useful item, not only as an everyday object, but even more so if it's factual and/or contains insight into how peopl

  • Umm... all the above options.

    Given my book collection ranges from a 1766 edition of Robert Andrews's [wikipedia.org] translation of Virgil (mainly of interest because it was printed by John Baskerville [wikipedia.org]) worth about £400, to a tatty, 1980's pb of one of Doc Smth's Lensman books that cost 20 pence in a charity shop.

  • ...is one which shows signs of wear. A poor book is a pristine book.

    I have one rule when it comes to lending books: don't lend books.

    If, on the rare occasion I have a visitor to my home, and said visitor sees a title on my shelf s/he likes the look of, I give him/her the book and say to them: "Read it, then pass it on, or keep it. I do not want it back." They're only possessions, and if I don't get the idea of it during the first reading I never will - I am a meticulous reader, and will refer back in the bo

  • ... those books are fine and valuable art: protect, preserve, safeguard. :-)

  • My first printing of _The Art of Computer Programming_ vol 1, 2 and 3 are kept behind glass. On the other hand I have a _Perl in a Nutshell_ that rolls around in the trunk with my workboots and a jug of windshield fluid.

  • For a long time I have been reading only ebooks, only buying/keeping physical copies of my very favorite books. The physical books get treated with all possible care, the ebooks just get backed up.

  • unless it's a first edition hardcover you just threw your money down the sewer if you discount the experience. unless you start tearing out pages that experience is not diminished.
  • The general consumer trend is making books generally worthless, even college textbooks. (Which is a whole pet-peeve of mine, right up there with selling back software /games at 5 -10% of their original price.) Published works are available in too many formats, most are far more economical than actually buying a book. - sorry publishers; Gutenberg's machine is nearly 7 centuries old. The economy is leaning towards Turing's baby now. Borrowing from friends, libraries, electronic forms, even electronic
  • Until I recently discovered the library, I had serious "book hoarder syndrome" for decades. Finally snapped out of it. I'm down to maybe 200 books now, just things that I re-read (e.g., Douglas Adams, Harry Matthews, cookbooks). Seriously, I had like 8 7'x4' book cases filled. Now it just doesn't make sense to buy books anymore with the library 2 miles form where I work and an online reservation system.

    I know, it is sad it took me until my 40's to appreciate the library.

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

 



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