Dreaming Novel Things: The Should Be Punishments for Misusing a Book

dreamingnovelthingsDreaming Novel Things is a feature in which I discuss book related subjects, but in a creative way. I’ll use interviews, narratives and lists to talk about book trends, book opinion and bookish matters. If you have any book related subjects you’d like to see me discuss just leave me a comment below!

Don’t tell me this thought has never crossed your mind, because as a fellow reader I know it has– many times. We’ve all seen the abuse of books in the course of our lives; that person on the subway who had the nerve to dog-ear a page, a student in the library that broke the spine of their book so that it will never stand tall and proud again and of course the little sister who couldn’t find a better place to put her COLD, CONDESCENDING DRINK then the front cover of your book! This abuse goes on daily, hourly in fact but the government refuses to recognize the importance of this issue.

So I started thinking, daydreaming really about the punishments I would hand out as a law enforcer and protector of all books; and you know what? It was very satisfying.

***Serious Note: Please note that this blog post was just for fun and I do not wish anybody physical or emotional harm. The outcry over Lauren Conrad’s book project was ridiculous and I respect book art in all its forms.– Serious Note Ended***

First I made a list of all the ways to abuse a book that I’ve witnessed in my twenty-one years on this planet.

  • Dog-earing a page
  • Breaking the spine of a book
  • Cold drinks set on the covers of books
  • Staining pages with dirty fingertips
  • Ripping out pages in a book
  • Neglect

Of course, I’ve seen much more than this but we would be here all day handing out justified punishments and presuming we all have lives, I’ve limited the list to just six.

Next I arranged the list in an order of least offending to most offending. This was actually very difficult as the thought of harming a book in ANY way gets a strong reaction but as a pretend law enforcer I have to at least pretend to be fair. So the list with the new order now looks like this:

  • Staining pages with dirty fingertips
  • Dog-earing a page
  • Breaking the spine of a book
  • Cold drinks set on the covers of books
  • Ripping out pages in a book
  • Neglect

Staining Pages with Dirty Fingertips

Charge: Carelessness     

Punishment: Has to wear their clothes inside out

Listen, I like to eat too, so I understand wanting a snack while digging into your favorite book but you owe it to your novel to CHOOSE WISELY. In fact I did a whole blog post on what snacks are best for reading so there are no excuses. For every smudge left on a page means another year with your clothes inside out to show the world your carelessness.

Dog-Earing a Page

Charge: Recklessness

Punishment: Will encounter no sympathy when they stub their toes

Unlike accidentally staining a page of a book, dog-earing a page is a purposeful, malicious attack. The offender is all to aware of their actions but does not give it a second thought. That now dog-eared page will never be completely smooth again all because the offender can’t be bothered with an actual book mark. Next time the offender stubs their toe, chuckle (like you’ve always wanted too).

Breaking the Spine

Charge: Carelessness

Punishment: Break a treasured item of the offender

It always makes me very sad to see a crippled book on a bookshelf where it once stood tall and proud. The thin white creases that now dominate the spine don’t lie, you mistreated your book! Books are treasured items and should be handled as such so if you are willing to break its proudest attribute its only fair we break something treasured of yours.

Cold Drinks on Books

Charge: Manslaughter

Punishment: You have to watch the ten movies you hate the most over and over

This tortuous act happens much more often than you might think. People would much rather sacrifice their innocent book than their $400 antique coffee table. The coffee table is WOOD people and your book is PAPER!!! Who cares about rings on your precious table and who gets a $400 antique table anyway when there are books without homes???

Ripping Out Pages of a Book

Charge: Murder

Punishment: You have to encounter the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard hourly

Ripping out pages of a book is like ripping out its essence– its soul. Those pages hold a unique story that’s only purpose it to be told. If you rip out the pages, its story ceases to be shared and will only know silence. It is too cruel a fate.

Neglect

Charge: Neglect

Punishment: Banishment from society

Neglect is so much worse than ripping out pages in a book because when you rip out the pages you at least acknowledge its presence. To let a book stand on a bookshelf unopened and untouched without so much as a glance, is sad. A book is NOT a household decoration, it is a story– so treat is as such!

What kind of Book Shelf Person Are You?

I’ve recently been looking for a new book shelf as I’m in great need of a place for my books. They are piling up everywhere and slowly taking over my room. I’m slightly worried that they will be the death of me by causing a tripping accident, but isn’t that the book lover’s dream to die a death at the hands of a book? No? Guess that’s just me then.

Anyway, book shelves! I was looking on Pinterest (the mother of all sites with the exception of Goodreads) and discovered there are so many kinds. There’s traditional, whimsical, practical, themed, big, small you name it. So I wanted to ask all of you, what kind of book shelf person are you?

Here’s a guide to help you decide:

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Unique: You like the different, you like the intriguing. You want something that’s going to steal the focal point in the room. Your book shelf gets comments like: “I’ve never seen anything like that before”, “That’s one of a kind!” and “Did you get that from a dump?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whimsical: You like something fun, something that represents your creative side. This book shelf tends to say that you believe in the impossible. Your book shelf gets comments like: “What a fun way to display books”, “It makes me think of Alice and Wonderland” and “It feels magical”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Traditional: You tend to go for a more classic look, a familiarity if you will. This book shelf does justice to the old-time libraries when gargoyles were rampant in the height of the gothic era. Your book shelf gets comments like: “What a majestic book shelf”, “It’s so elegant” and “Is that the first edition of Wuthering Heights on the top shelf?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Practical: You tend to think reasonably, you want something easy to reach and well-organized and probably go as far to organize your books according to genre, author and color. Your book shelf gets comments like: “It looks very organized”, “I love the step stool you provided for convenience” and “Do you have OCD?”

 

 

 

 

 

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Themed: You want to represent yourself in a more literal form. You want everyone to know what you love and you tend to be extremely passionate. Your book shelf gets comments like: “Wow, I can see you’re a big fan of ____”, “You must really like ____” and “You’re a bit obsessed with ____, aren’t you?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade: Forget spending your money, you’re a doer. You appreciate the value of things you build far more than things you buy. You like that warm look. Your book shelf gets comments like: “I wish I was as crafty as you”, “Wow, you can’t even tell its homemade” and “Awww, how sweet of you to display your son’s school project”.

 

 

 

 

 

I like to think I’m whimsical but knowing me I’d probably actually go for something practical.

So what kind of book shelf person are you? Share it below and happy reading!

This post has been added to Oh, Chrys and The Fiction Conniption‘s Let Discuss! meme. Check out other discussions that have been linked up this week here.

The First Book Store Trip

thToday’s the day.

You leap out of bed giggling from happiness. You rush to the kitchen because your mom says breakfast is the most important meal of the day though you really believe that slot belongs to snack time. You get your “special” bowl that is shaped like the head of Minnie Mouse and fix yourself some cereal, all while wishing chocolate pudding was an acceptable breakfast item.

Then your mother walks in already dressed for the day which only makes you more excited.

“Today’s the day!” you tell her except it sounds more like “Trdaeschda!” because you still had cereal in your mouth.

Your mom smiles and reminds you not to talk and eat at the same time and also to wipe your chin.

You finish your cereal in record time and run down the hall to get dressed. You picked out your outfit last night so that no time would wasted today. When you’re all dressed and ready to go you and your mom head out the door.

You can’t help but bounce in your seat as your mother drives. You’re entire focus is set on what it’s going to be like; what will it look like; what will it smell like; will everyone be able to tell it’s your first time? Then– doubt hits you. What if it isn’t everything you imagined it would be? It could be too small, or too crowded or filled with a bad smell– no, you think as your mom pulls into the parking lot and you gaze at the entrance, it’s going to be perfect.

“That’s the book store mom?”

“Mhmm, what do you think?”

I look at it again, “Wow.” I answer, because nothing else justifies the monumental building in front of me. You take your mom’s hand as you walk through the glass doors because though most of what you feel is excitement there’s still a small part that is afraid of being let down.

Then you see what’s on the other side of those glass doors and you’re filled with awe. Everywhere you look books welcome you. There are giant bookshelves that shape the landscape and tables scattered every few feet and best of all they’re all filled with books. You let go of your mom’s hand now that all doubt has been vanquished.

You wander down the first aisle trying to see everything but overwhelmed by all the colors. And what’s the smell in the air, is that coffee beans? You look around in bewilderment and finally your eyes match the source. There’s a coffee shop in the book store! You don’t drink coffee yet, but the smell instantly makes you think of Sunday mornings when you’re bed head ridden father puts on a batch and sinks into the sofa to turn on football. The smell makes you feel welcome, makes you feel home.

You walk down to your favorite genre of books. You let your fingers trail the spines and spend a few minutes basking in the presence of wonderful stories. Another person walks to your area. They gaze at the book shelves and you can tell just from their eyes that this is a person who loves books as much as you do.

The pair of you are instant friends and soon you’re sitting on the squishy carpet in front of your favorite books sharing what you like about them. (She’s team Jacob but you forgive her). A few hours go by like this when you’re mom gives the signal that it’s time to leave. A wrinkle appears between your brows and you let out an over-the-top sigh. This is almost as bad as leaving Disneyland, you say to yourself, almost.

“Bye” you say to your friend. She smiles and waves and goes back to reading her books and you realized you’ve never been more jealous of a person before that moment.

You place your picks on the check out counter as your mom pulls out her credit card with an amused face that just sets the wrinkle between your brows deeper. You try to smile back at the book store clerk but it’s hard when you’re so sad.

You go out the same glass doors and you can’t help but think of how just a few hours ago you didn’t know what the inside of a book store looked like and you take your mother’s hand.

“Did you like it?” She asks.

You look up at her, “Loved it.”

Though my first book store trip wasn’t quite like that (it involved me throwing a fit) it was still just as magical, as I’m sure it is for everybody that wears an official bookworm badge.

What was your first book store visit like? Share it below and happy reading!

This post has been added to Oh, Chrys and The Fiction Conniption‘s Let Discuss! meme. Check out other discussions that have been linked up this week here.

Judging a Book by it’s Cover Intervention

thNow that your all settled in on the couch I want to bring up an issue. No, don’t get frightened, we are not attacking you. We are confronting you about…well about your problem. Yes, I think it’s time to own up to it, you’ve been judging books by their covers again.

Don’t. Don’t try to deny it we have evidence. Denise saw you at the book store last week, that’s right she was there. Did you think we would leave you alone while you’re going through this? The clerk at the book store recommended a book to you didn’t he? What did you do? To get through this you are going to have to come out of denial, now what did you do? You said “no thanks” to the book store clerk didn’t you? You didn’t want that book based off its cover. You can’t keep living you’re life like this. It’s not fair to you and it’s not fair to the books.

Still admitting you don’t have a problem? What about Tuesday evening? You and Jared were at the library, ring any bells? Jared said he saw you pick five books without even a glance at the synopsis. What made you decide to check out those books? You judged them by their covers didn’t you? And how did that work out, were they quality reads? I didn’t think so. Listen, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem; so go on. There you go, you see, already I can see a difference.

Now that you’ve admitted your problem lets share some success stories to help motivate you. Remember, we’ve all been here, it happens. Sometimes you only have enough money for one book and you see the book you’ve been meaning to get when another one catches your eye. The cover calls to you, works it spell over you and before you know it you’ve bought the book without even reading what it’s about. It happens to the best of us, these ‘black outs’ are common, you just have to pick yourself up and start again another day.

Look at Paul. Six months ago he was in the same spot as you; buying books left and right based solely on their covers (which oddly enough all featured parakeets), but here he sits today. Six months of not once judging a book by its cover.

Then there’s Mary. Poor Mary was worst off than you. She had bookshelves filled with books she bought because of pretty covers but never read because they weren’t quality books. After she purchased Marked we knew that we had to intervene. She struggled at first, that’s perfectly normal but the important thing is that she made the effort. She got rid of all her books and filled her bookshelves with books she would actually read. She started looking beyond the cover.

You can even take me as an example. I started off just like you but now I’m three years clean. It’s been a long time since I judged a book by its cover. (I think the last time was Prince Caspian which sent me over the edge). You can be where I am today, no don’t shake your head, you can. You have to visualize it, believe it and above all want it. Think of all the quality books that wait for you? Don’t you want to enjoy reading again? Good, now lets start with a trip to the book store, no don’t worry, I’m coming with you. We’ll only look at the backs of the books. Bring it in, all hands in everybody, now together on three: SEEING PAST THE COVER!

The subject of this intervention is now three weeks clean. They thank everybody for caring enough of about them to help.

Paul now spends all his money buying parakeets.

Mary is now happily surrounded by the books she loves but can’t find her glasses to read them.

The leader of this intervention fell off the wagon two days ago. We are doing all we can for her.

I don’t know about you but I’m definitely guilty of judging a book by its cover every now and then and sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s a bad thing. Do you ever judge a book by its cover or do you make it a rule not too? Share it below and happy reading!

This post has been added to Oh, Chrys and The Fiction Conniption‘s Let Discuss! meme. Check out other discussions that have been linked up this week here.

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 14

15-Day-ChallengeIf you haven’t heard of this challenge by now then you should know it’s so much fun! It was created by the blogger of Good Books, Good Wine and has really been causing me to think of how I run this here old book blog. Now, on to today’s challenge!

Day 14: Tell us your deal breakers

I have very few as I sincerely try to keep an open mind nowadays so don’t expect a long list! (I better not see anybody sighing in relief)!

  • Bad Endings— What do I mean by this? No resolution. I don’t want to read a whole entire book just for there to be a lack of resolution! Nothing makes me more angry (except specifically saving all the red skittles for last and then somebody else eating them)!
  • “Sad” novels– What I mean by “sad” is when the author builds this connection with a character and then kills them off to make you cry so that they can say they “touched” you. No. That drives me bonkers, killing off a character because it is necessary for the story is one thing, but killing off a character just to make me cry makes you a jerk.
  • Written by Nicholas Sparks– See both reasons above

That’s about it for me. I really try to read everything so I’m not generally prejudiced against any one kind of book (with a few exceptions as you can see above). What about you guys? Do you have any deal breakers? I hope you’ll share them with me by commenting below and happy reading!