Friday, July 31, 2009

The Velveteen Books

When I talked about my love affair with books, a reader, dear Ranran, asked me this:
Do you keep your books neatly stacked in a shelf, cover them with plastic if it's in paperback, read them them by just opening it slightly so as not to get creases on the bind and lend them ONLY to people who you trust and know that they'll guard it with their life?
Ranran, when I was young, I used to be a lot careful with my books until someone looked at them in their pristine condition and said, "Oh, you collect books as a hobby? When will you read them?"

Since then, I'm the sort who writes on the margins (usually word definitions), underlines favorite passages, dog-ears the pages, punches the paperback covers with my rabbit puncher, reads and rereads them till the covers are curved. I even use the thick books as my pillow on long flights. I also pile them in stacks beside my bed or stash them under the bed when Vince complains of the mess.

I lend books to anyone and everyone. I'm always going around and asking, "Hey, have you read this book? No? Here! Return it when you're done." When I do this, I don't know why people look at me like I'm selling them diet pills. I mean, these are books we're talking about! I want to add that people who read a lot tend to be slim, too, which proves my theory that books are the world's best weight loss product! Oh, and unless the book is a special edition or was a gift, I even give books away! I figure I can always buy a new one.

So, Ranran, I hope I haven't earned your condescension because, yes, my books are tattered. But now they are real.


  1. I just want to add that this photo was taken in 2007--when I read 2 books a week! Now, I read a book a MONTH. See how thin I was before? More books read, less weight gained. I need to read again!

  2. That's because time flies when you're reading a good book. I tend to skip meals when I devour a good book in one sitting.

  3. Me, too! I don't feel the need to sleep or eat when I'm reading. And I never feel sleepy or hungry after!

  4. Oh my, my question was answered. Haha!

    Anyway, you really are generous, Frances! Giving away special edition books. Whoa!

    For me though, I want to keep my books in pristine condition as long as I can even though I read them lots of times! I wish I could also have my own mini-library. :-)

    happy weekend!

  5. Oh no, Ranran, I said "UNLESS they're special edition or gifts." That means I'd give everything away but the special edition/gifts =)

  6. i can just not sleep when i am reading a book. haha. we're saving up so we can build a decent bookshelf where we can display our books. right now they're just in our spare room. those that i haven't read are stacked on top of my cabinet. i don't like them gathering dust, naaawa ako! hahaha.


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