Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I like my books like I like my men. . .

. . .naked.

("my men", in the hypothetical sense, not the actual. This little clarification definitely distracts from the incredibly hooking title and opening, but oh well.)

On the rare occasion I splurge on hardcover books (instead of waiting for a year until they come out in paperback and are thus cheaper, or pulling the ultimate cheapskate move and waiting until they're at the library. . .), once I've read the plot summary on the inside cover and the reviews on the back cover and whatever pretty picture occupies the front cover, I really see no use in the glossy paper jacket that encompasses the book itself.

I have quite a few of them tucked away*, in case I am struck by the glory of the cover art once again and feel the need to admire it on its own, but once I've purchased the book, it no longer has a purpose. The book doesn't need to advertise itself to me anymore, reading it with the jacket attached is often annoyingly slippery (especially in the awkward positions I usually read) and requires extra care to ensure that I don't rip it or bend it in any way (making them not exactly ideal for carelessly shoving into a bag or backpack. . .), and I love the minimalistic sense of the book without it. The smooth cardboard, simply embossed with metallic lettering on the cover and spine. . . there's a real proper private library quality to them. The way I picture a cozy room in a large house in the English countryside, possibly a fireplace, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with books, each with a few dignified cracks in the binding from multiple readings instead of a crumpled and faded slip of paper covering them.

I honestly have no idea the point I'm trying to convey here; maybe I'm just being overly romantic.

* Including the jackets from the last two Harry Potter books. In moments of weakness I've considered buying the other five in hardcover, however unreasonable this may be, just to do this to them and to have a complete set of one binding or the other. (Though it would definitely be more practical, if I did do this, to buy the last two in paperback.)

1 comment:

Vita said...

I like how once they're without covers, books look like they did back in 18friggin'50. However, I keep all the covers on; I like the variety in my bookshelf and I'm not too concerned about keeping my books in pristine condition, to be honest. My well-loved books are, well, not gently used, exactly. xD