1. They dog-ear the pages.
If you dog-ear your own book, that’s fine, Do whatever you want with your own property! Read however makes you happy! But no one should crease the pages of books they don’t actually own!
2. They crease the spine.
If you work at keeping your own books pristine, nothing is more irritating than getting a book that you lent out looking brand-new come back looking as if it’s been read by five generations of schoolchildren with creases all over the spine and bends in the cover. Have people no shame???
3. They get water or other substances on the pages.
Drinking or eating while reading a book can be dangerous business. Just ask anyone who’s accidentally gotten a chocolate smear on a page or dropped crumbs so deep in the binding they were impossible to get out. (That person, uh, is not me.) But reading a book while taking a bath or running in the rain is even more dangerous and damaging! Someone once literally returned a book to my co-blogger they had dropped into a puddle.
4, They lose the book entirely.
Who does this??? And did they lost it, or just kind of “forget” they had someone else’s book?
5, They Do Not offer to Replace any Lost or Damaged Books
An interesting amount of people see books as “just” books, items that are essentially one-time use and then disposable. Yes, there’s an argument to be made that the value is the words, and if you can read them, that’s the point of the book. But these people seem not to realize that books can be expensive (seriously, adult hardcovers are going for $35 USD) or that some readers put time into tracking down specific editions or getting books signed. If you damage or lose a book, replace it! Don’t act as if ruining someone’s property is no big deal!
BUT: One Good Thing That Can Result
Someone loves the book as much as you do, and you can now bond over its amazingness and convince them to read everything else that author has written. Win!