Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–Bookish Quirks (It’s OK–we all have them!)


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my Musing Monday ramble for the week:

credit Onelio Marrero

credit Onelio Marrero

I was at a wonderfully large used bookstore awhile back with three bookloving friends. At the end of our visit, we were sitting together comparing the treasures we’d found. I was especially excited about finding a hardcover copy of Jim Bishop’s The Day Lincoln Was Shot. I have a fondness for this title because it’s the first adult nonfiction book I can remember reading—at the time, I still had my paperback copy which had been read so many times that it was held together with rubber bands. On this day I’d been lucky enough to find a hardback whose dustjacket was tattered and worn, but whose binding and pages were in great shape for a book that was probably thirty years old or more.

“Look at this!” I said to my friends. “I can just get rid of the dustjacket, and I’ll have a great hardcover copy of a book I love!”

One of my girlfriends immediately got a strange look on her face. “What do you mean—get rid of the dustjacket? What will you do with it?” she asked.

I didn’t even hesitate. “It’s in such bad shape—I’ll probably just throw it away. But the book itself is fine!”

“You mean you aren’t just going to keep the cover? Just to have it?” she asked in a quiet voice.

And at that moment, a whole conversation about bookish quirks was born!

If you’re a booklover, chances are you have at least one bookish quirk. And however odd it may seem to others, it’s part of what makes you the particular booklover and reader that you are. That day in that used bookstore, my friends and I launched into sharing our own bookish quirks and habits.

Hannah loves hardcover books, but never shelves them with their dustjackets. She carefully removes each cover and stores it in a special drawer. Her shelves are filled with jacketless hardbacks, but she keeps all the covers—whether they’re used or new, shabby or pristine–because she never knows when she might want to look at one of them.

Beth leaves the price stickers on all of her books—especially the expensive coffee-table type books that she finds on sale. She likes to be reminded of the bargains she’s found.

Maria carefully writes—lightly, in pencil—the date, the place, and the price she paid for each book on the back inside cover of every book she buys. She says it’s like having a little mini-diary to remind her where she was when she bought a particular book.

As for me—my bookish quirk involves how I shelve my books. Books at my house are arranged by theme. It would never occur to me to bring home a bag of books from the bookstore and just shelve them anywhere that there may be space. Nope—each book needs to be with other books of the same subject or genre. Sometimes that means moving books around—that’s OK. (I had my work cut out for me when I got home from that used bookstore that day!)

How about you? Do you share any of these, or do you have your own bookish quirk? It’s OK-we all have them! Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

22 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–Bookish Quirks (It’s OK–we all have them!)

  1. I can’t think of any particular quirks, but I do have a big, sloppy collection of books. I feel quite unorganized after reading about you and your friends carefully sorting and marking. Nice post!

  2. I do shelve mystery, romance and scifi separately but I do it by author’s last name. I also do not mix paperbacks and hard covers on the same shelf.

    • I try to keep authors together within my theme areas, but I don’t alphabetize by author. I do try to shelve by size within each theme, so hardcovers do tend to live next to other hardcovers. I don’t mind having hardcovers and paperbacks on the same shelf, though.

  3. I organize by theme, too. And I have to take the price stickers off! I didn’t realize that not everyone does that. 😉

  4. The first thing that goes for me is the price stickers. I can’t stand to look at them. I usually peel them off in the car on the way home. I always leave the dust covers on my books, except, sometimes while I’m reading. Hardcover books have their own shelf, as does all paperback books.

    • I feel the same way you do about the price stickers–off they go! I usually leave the dust jackets on my books, unless it’s a book I’m borrowing from a friend–then I’ll take it off and put it somewhere where my cats can’t get at it–they sometimes like to nibble on the corners. 🙂

  5. All those quirks are awesome! I don’t know about mine, really, except that while I’m reading hardcovers, I HAVE to take the dust jacket off, and then put it back on when I’ve finished the book in its entirety. I hate reading with them on because I’m always afraid I’ll damage them.

    • I usually leave the dust jacket on, unless it’s a book I’ve borrowed. My cats have a habit of sometimes chewing on my books, so if it’s a hardcover book that I’ve borrowed, I’ll put the cover up in a place where the cats can’t get at it.

      • *Laughs* Yeah, I put my dust jackets in one of my dresser drawers just in case because I never know what my cat might decide to do with them – most likely just step on it or paw at it, but still XD

  6. I have way too many quirks to list, but reading your musings made me think of two. On the subject of hardcovers, I usually avoid buying them at all because either they’re more expensive than their paperback counterparts or I feel they take up too much room. I also get a little OCD about my books being such different sizes, I have no idea why. If I’m reading a series, I almost always hold off on purchasing until the paperback versions are available because I like all the books in the series to “match,” so if I buy the first installment in hardcover I have to buy them ALL in hardcover.

    I loved your quirk about organization. Right now my bookshelves are a mess but I dream to someday organize mine by where the authors are from.

  7. I read both books that would be considered more highbrow and books that would probably be considered really cheesy rubbish so I like to alternate the books on my bookshelves – one highbrow, one cheesy. Partly so I can reassure myself that I’m not reading only rubbish but also because I like the confusing looks on people’s faces when they see Jean Paul Sartre next to The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris! 🙂

  8. Funny quirks! I couldn’t imagine shelving my books without the dust jackets — I’m sure I’d lose the jackets if I did that. I’m with you though, all the books that come home have specific shelves they’ll end up on. The shelves are a little messy (from being over-full), but there’s a method to my madness 🙂

    • I do have some shelves where books are laying across the tops of other books. If only I had enough room for all the bookcases I need! But–what a good problem to have, right?

  9. I love to underline (with pencil of course) the lines I like in a book. I do this so that I can refer back to them when I am re-reading the book. Also, after a new book is delivered to me, I like to scribble my name & the date of purchase on the 1st page of the book. 🙂

  10. I tend like you to arrange my books by theme I have shelves all set with specific genres 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by Fire & Ice

  11. I arrange by theme too! And my brother always takes off his dust jackets, which drives me crazy when we share books. I’d never thought to characterize “bookish quirks” before, but it’s so true .

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