Book lovers’ 7 deadly sins … or not?

Anne Fadiman quote

For some book lovers, a list of major no-nos would go something like this:

  • Do not dog-ear a book’s pages.
  • Do not dribble coffee/tea/wine on your book.
  • Ditto foodstuffs.
  • Do not break a book’s spine.
  • Do not allow the dust jacket to be torn or otherwise defiled.
  • Do not deface the margins by scrawling your (likely inferior) thoughts.
  • Ditto underlining and highlighting.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: If you’re borrowing a book your generous friend (or library) has lent you, doing any of the above is rude. Yes, sometimes it’s fun to eat potato chips while reading, but not while reading someone else’s book.

Outside the context of a borrowed book, though, are these really so bad? I’m discomfited by the suggestion, for several reasons. Continue reading “Book lovers’ 7 deadly sins … or not?”