Books are precious and deserve utmost respect.
Because they are precious and full of stories and magic and who knows if they secretly come to life while we’re sleeping so we need to be super respectful to them least they murder us in our sleep. #sensible
But let’s face it: accidents happen.
And I don’t mean “I love this book so much I read it to death” accidents. I mean “tHIS BOOK JUST GOT BRUTALLY MUTILATED AND I AM DEVASTATED AND WISH TO EAT A BRICK WALL BECAUSE OF MY PAIN” sort of accidents. And honestly having someone else damage your book is terrible, but at least you can marinade the person and then skewer them and roast them gently and thoroughly. But when you damage your own book due to carelessness or (CUE HORROR) negligence???? It’s just the worst kind of agony. You end up kneeling in the dark whispering I’m sorry I’m sorry to the poor damaged book that will never recover and never trust you again.
Ergo, today, I’m going to spill DARK AND TERRIFYING CONFESSIONS about the worst things I’ve ever done to books. Accidentally. Horribly. Oh rest my damaged soul I AM SO SORRY, DEAR BOOKS. Hopefully confessing will help ease the pain.
1. I’VE DROPPED A BOOK IN MUD.
This was back in the day when I used to take all my #bookstagram photos outside. Genius me was upon my verandah, propping books on the narrow rail. Which is all WELL AND GOOD until the wind came along and smacked a book right off the balcony where it — FELL TO ITS DEATH.
Okay! Okay! Slight exaggeration. It actually just fell into a muddy slop of ground.
But I let this book down???? I betrayed it??? I can’t even look at it now and it remains buried beneath my other books. I’m sorry Bird. I LOVED YOU SO. (Irony that the book was called Bird yet it did not fly at all.)
2. I GOUGED THE HEART OUT OF DIVERGENT.
Note to self: never take books camping. OR OUT OF THE HOUSE EVER AGAIN NO.
And I’m still mad about this because I was actually in a caravan. WITH CUPBOARDS. I had taken ever precaution to make sure my books stayed nice while we were traipsing around the state!! BUT NO. I pulled out Divergent to re-read and — BOOM — the back cover was totally bent and gouged and two continents were destroyed due to my tears.
3. I CUT UP ROBIN HOOD FOR ART.
Okay, fine, this wasn’t an accident. In fact, my soul bleeds exactly 0% over using old books for art because (A) my library actually has to throw them out because they’re too old and spotted to be sellable, and (B) what’s worse: a book in the bin or a book repurposed into art??? I CHOOSE ART.
But, I mean, sometimes I feel a twinge as I slice up pages. Although, I mean, look at the beautifulness of my book-page origami???? I CAN’T REGRET THIS.
Plus these kusudama balls make great bookstagram props. Coincidentally you can buy them from me. #SubtleSelfPromo
4. I’VE TORN A PAGE FROM TURNING TOO FAST.
This was a library book. I’M SORRY, LIBRARY. I mean, at least it’s a compliment to the book right? It was so entrancingly wonderful that I couldn’t read fast enough!
It’s also a good indication that I am a monster.
5. I’VE SPILT FOOD ON BOOK PAGES.
Okay this happens to the best of us!! I just know it!! And, again, this particular travesty happened to a library book. I was eating lasagna and….well, least to say that book had a page or so where it looked like someone clutched it in their last dying moments and left bloody thumbprints on the page.
AGH. I feel bad. I love food. I love books. I can’t love them together or they get jealous of each other and attack my face.
And I’m not the only one. Because my #1 game when I read library books is guessing between: DID THEY SPILL FOOD HERE or WAS SOMEONE BRUTALLY MURDERED HERE. #GoodTimes
6. I’VE DROPPED BOOKS.
This is a byproduct of #bookstagram again. Because apparently I think I can hold 97 hardcovers and be totally fine with it. SPOILER: I am 5’1 and not very strong and I cannot lift 97 hardcovers without dropping them and wiping out a third of the human population.
Also my dog refuses to be in my room while I take photos. As soon as I start unloading my bookshelf, he exits. He doesn’t trust me holding books anymore apparently. Too many times has he be scarred by the terror of hardcovers raining down.
7. I THREW A BOOK ONCE.
But it wasn’t very far!! It was just on my bed!! I don’t think it even sustained my damage but acute righteous indignation. But it annoyed me okay?! And I can’t even remember what the book was. Just that I gave in and LET MY RAGE SPEAK.
8. I’VE STUFFED TOO MANY BOOKS IN MY BAG AND BENT COVERS.
Because I mean, who has one book in your bag when you could have 76? WHO CARES that the bag is small and only meant to hold, like, a handkerchief and two chocolate coins? The day I give into physics is the day I accept the fact I’m not a wizard — AND THAT ISN’T GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE I AM A WIZARD.
But least to say, the agony that pierces my heart on finding that I have bent a cover is so horrendous that I punish myself by disallowing myself cake for 2.4 seconds.
9. I’VE BROKEN SPINES ON PURPOSE.
This usually happens when I leave a book open, but face down, on my bed and go off to do something else. That only happens when (A) I’m very angry with the book and feel like punishing it, or (B) my dog is actually waging war on the bathroom and chewing through bathmats and soap and the kids’ bath toys and I love my dog (even if he is an idiot) and need to rescue him, or (C) my cake timer dinged and I need to see if it’s cooked.
I hate breaking spines. Haaaaaaate it. But it has happened many a time.
10. I TRIED PEELING A STICKER OFF A COVER AND IT DID NOT GO WELL.
In fact it went so horrendously I’m still traumatised to this day. CURSE YOU LIBRARY BOOKS. See, my library has sales frequently and I buy books. I try to get the stickers off with metho (which is kind of like rubbing alcohol to all the non-Australians) and it mostly works! But there have been times when I went to rip a sticker and…the cover came too.
THE COVER CAME TOO.
CAN YOU HEAR ME SCREAMING ALL THE WAY FROM WHERE YOU LIVE ACROSS THE GLOBE????
I can’t actually even look at How To Lead A Life of Crime because I’m so ashamed of mutilating it.
And also, why WHY whyyyyy do the librarians stick barcodes directly on the dust jacket anyway??? They usually have plastic coverings — why can’t they stick the stickers there? It’s all well and good for new books, but the old ones think they should adopt the sticker and raise it as their child. While I’m here trying to get it off using every method but burning at the stake.
Life is very unfair to me. I AM A BOOK MUTILATOR AND I DON’T EVEN MEAN TO BE.