- having some pages with the top corners folded down
- shabby, worn
- the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books. Paper so affected is said to be “foxed.”
There are (at least) two schools of thought when it comes to the treatment of books. In one, books are sacred objects that should never be manhandled or altered in any way. This is not my school.
I dog-ear (gasp!), I highlight (double gasp!), and I don’t care if the pages get wet (clutch the pearls!). Just thinking about the sound of the pages crinkling after they dry gives me chills–in a good way. I live in my books and like them to feel that way. I like looking back months or years later at highlights to see what I thought was so profound at the time. I love that my Lord of the Rings books have hundreds of old dog-ears. I’ve spent A LOT of time in Middle Earth and it shows.
I want to lend them. I want them to travel. I want them to show where they’ve been and how they’ve been loved or not. Books should tell a story other than the ones written within their pages. Otherwise, they become the equivalent of that one room in your house growing up that you weren’t allowed in because it had the “nice” furniture and strategically made, always fresh vacuum lines. And didn’t we all think that room was pointless? Especially since it would have made a perfectly good library.