Tuesday, April 20, 2010


How do you use your books?

Do you carefully open them, trying to not bend the spine? Do you use a bookmark or do you turn the corner of the page? Do you take notes in your books or do you use a sticky note? Do you highlight in your books?

I love my books! I read them and write sticky notes on them (when I’m studying a specific type of book). Sometimes (are you ready for this…) I highlight and turn down the corners. The first time I did this I was terrified my 6th Grade English Teacher would show up at my house and whack my knuckles with a ruler. I find that taking notes and highlighting helps me study a book better than just reading it. I get more out of it.

Do you sort your books? Classify them? Group them?

When I first got my own office (yes, I let the rest of my family use it, but it’s MY OFFICE), I organized all my children’s books by genre. I thought that was the perfect way to do it, but it wasn’t. My new method is by grouping books of similar themes after I have read them. I also keep the books I’ve read separate from the ones I haven’t. I keep the grown up books separate from the kid lit books. I keep my resource books separate too. I have one very special shelf…my signed book section.

This leads to my upcoming interviews… (and your chance of winning one of two signed books.)

Tomorrow, I’ll be featuring American Girl author Mary Casanova! I’m so excited to share the interview with you! I’ll be doing a drawing for two of her newest American Girl books; CHRISSA and CHRISSA STANDS STRONG….

I hope you’ll pop in tomorrow and hear all about Mary Casanova

How do you use books?


  1. I worship my books. I remove the covers off the hardbacks before I read them. And I always use a bookmark. Okay, maybe I'm a dork. I rarely lend them out anymore (only to fellow book worshippers) after one mother left my book out and her toddler put a damp cloth on it. It was a hardback book. So much for the clean ziploc bag I had put it in. :)

  2. Hi!

    I adore all my books and need more space to store them in! I could never part with them even the ones I didn't like! They are like friends I can rely on!

    Ooooh!! Congratulations on doing the drawings for Chrissa and Chrissa stands strong - I look forward to the interview!

    Take care

  3. Stina--YIKES!!! A wet cloth on a book. Although I mark up my books, I do love them. I have a hard time lending too. I'd rather go buy another copy and give it to the person.

    Kitty--When I retired from teaching I gave about 900 books away. I so regret it now. I'm slowly rebuying a lot of them.

    I can't wait until tomorrow's post. I met Mary at Chautauqua in July of 2008. She was so much fun and everyone will be amazed by the amount of research that goes into her American Girl books....

  4. I love organizing mine and making them look pretty. I never turn the corner and I often reference certain books when I'm writing to check on POV, description, you have it. It's all great!

  5. PJ--I forgot to add I have a section of classics, travel, and poetry seperate from my other kidlit...I leave my sticky notes on my books on purpose. It gives me a quick reminder when I need to look for something. You are so right....It's all good. :)

  6. I love my books. They are good friends! But despite that, I'm happy to share the love. I even loaned my brand new Fablehaven 5 to one of my students - BEFORE I had a chance to read it! :-)

  7. Shannon--YOU ARE SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL TEACHER!!! I loaned books all of the time, but never before I read them.

  8. Wow, looking forward to the interview!
    We have books all over the house. In every bedroom there is a packed bookcase. Books in my nightstand. Books in bookshelves in the living room. On top of my desk.
    I use bookmarks (sometimes receipts, sometimes envelopes, sometimes real bookmarks), but don't write in the books.
    My mom, sister and I swap books too!

  9. Hi Sharon,
    I must confess, I do all the things that librarians would freak out about: I bend the corners for bookmarks, I take books into the bath tub with me, and sit them spine-side up on the bed. I am a cruel book lover. Bad me.

    I also loan them out to whoever wants them and tell them to pass them forward- there's just no more room in the house for new ones.


  10. If I have a favorite research book, I buy two. One to scribble, mark, and highlight. And one to keep in pristine condition.

    I order my books by favorite authors in order of my fondness for them : Mark Twain, C.S.Lewis, Robert B. Parker, Louis LaMour, Gore Vidal, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher, etc. Then I put their books in order of descending favor : most liked to least.

    Odd order I know. But it works for me. But I catch my cat, Gypsy, looking at me strangely. But then she's royalty and I'm a serf. Her serf. Or is that smurf? Roland

  11. haha I hate putting even the slightest crease in my books. The dustcovers get put away so they won't get damaged and I definately don't share with the kids incase they bend a corner. They have their row of books on the bookcase and I have mine! :o)

  12. I'll probably be burnt alive at the stake after you've read this...

    I bend the corners of my books. I take them to the beach, for rides in the car, flatten them on tabletops, scribble in them when something takes my fancy and no doubt drop food on them from time to time....

    But hey, they're my books and I love them just the way they are. Dusty, old, new, tattered. It matters not to me.

    PS. I hope you will still talk to me after this shocking confession!

  13. I never turn down the corners! Always a bookmark. I love bookmarks. And I don't organize them, I like them stacked all over the house. I've been known to arrange them according to color and size and binding. I like to just look at them, before & after reading. I'm totally in love.

  14. I mean books not bookmarks lol! (Although I do love bookmarks too, I don't stack and arrange them.)

  15. I've always been really careful with my books. I think my dad is partly to blame for this. He taught me how to hold and read a comic book correctly so I don't ruin the value. I've applied that to the books I read.

    My mom is the same for actually reading books, but she likes to mark them up. Highlighting and pencils.. things I wouldn't dare do to my least favorite books! I guess I hold most of my books sacred that way. I'd rather use sticky notes, notecards, or some sort of bookmark.

    Cookbooks are the one exception. The messier the page the more you can tell that I've used it. I have worked in small kitchens in the past, but I'm sure I'd do the same in a large kitchen!

    I sort my non-fiction books by subject. Fiction books are usually sorted by name, and sometimes by type. I don't think my books are so sacred to loan out... well my fiction books anyway. Favorite non-fiction books and old books are sacred and should never be loaned.

    As a side note: I heard about this guy who checked out books at his local library. He was an avid reader. He liked to make notes in the books he read, so of course he'd return books to the library with all kinds of notes in them. Long story short... he was upset to learn he had to pay a large fine for the books he had marked up.

  16. Kelly--I love buying books too...not so good at sharing. I discovered this year, not so good at checking out from the library too...I had a $28 fine!!! I use all kinds of things as bookmarks too...one of my favorite bookmarks it airplane tickets. I love to travel, so seeing remnanats of a trip in a book always makes me smile. :)

    Anne-Marie--I think books should be loved...Like The Velveteen Rabbit...I do have my section of signed books that I would never ever mark in, but everything else is fair game. :)

  17. Roland--Good ideas...Putting them in order of preference is pretty cool! I've never heard of anyone doing that. :)

    Niki--Somehow, I knew you took better care of your books than I do. I share with my kiddo, but she doesn't mark up her or my books. :)

  18. Wendy--I was fine with everything until you said you might drop food on them...I'm going to have to re-evaluate our friendship...I love old books too. I have a few books from the early 1900's. I'm careful with them. (We can still be friends, but no borrowing and eating with my books...)

  19. Karen--I preferr to think of you having bookmarks organized by size shape and color all over your house. That made me smile. :) Thanks...

    I'm right there with you, I love to look at my books before, during and after reading. It's like you own a little piece of the author. (***Still smiling***)

    Dani--I used to be really careful with books. I'm still careful, but now I don't just read them...I study them. So, I treat them like textbooks from college.

    Cookbooks....Whew! You can definately tell which pages I use the most...They are pulled loose and sticky. I try to be careful, but I'm a messy cooker...

    LOL--The guy with the library books. My $28 fine was because I thought that when I renewed on-line I was renewing all of the books. It turned out I was only renewing one of the books...I had about 15 picture books checked out...I learned a lesson...

  20. My books are thoroughly used but I do not abuse them. I use a bookmark and I keep my hands clean when reading. I do read while eating a sandwich at the table sometimes but use only one hand! Not only do I take care of my personal books, I treat the library books the same way. My hubby and I go the library often and bring home the maximum number we can check out. I highlight workbooks meant to be used like that but not a reading book.

  21. I remove the dust jackets and dispose of them. I turn the top of a page down when I can't find a bookmark. I turn the bottom of a page up when I need to refer back to something.

    I scribble notes in my bible.

  22. i'm pertty hard on my books. But i can always buy a new one if needed. After all, it supports the author

  23. I don't abuse my books, but I don't keep them on a pedestal either. They're meant to be read and in the course of that, corners get bent, pages get dripped on and dust jackets get torn. In my house, you can certainly tell which books are my favorite.

    Looking forward to the interview with Mary! Say hi for me!

  24. TechnoBabe--It took me a long time before I realized I could do what I wanted with my books. :) I learn more if I "study" them. Some of my sticky notes include topic, pages, pubisher and year published. If I'm studying a particular genre I then file all them in a genre file.

    PJ--Good idea on marking referrence pages in a different spot. :) Thanks!

    Falen--Somehow I knew a wild woman like you would be rough on books. (wink wink)

    Amy--I'll tell Mary "Hi" for you. :)

    I'll be posting Mary's interview this evening. :) I've got to go buy a tree and some mulch this afternoon and get it planted before it rains....

  25. Oh, I use bookmarks. I carry my books everywhere with me, so they get a little worn. And I just dump them in a big pile in the closet or garage when I'm done.

    The real magic is in the words that I read, that I carry in my mind. I love books!

  26. Ooh! Now I really want to see a picture of your bookshelves!

    I'm hard on books too, I love them to death and wear 'em out like old friends. I also do a quirky thing my old grad professor did/does--I mark them across the pages, close to the spine, with my own special brand. They may feel like cattle with their brands seared in, but I don't lose them as often when I loan them out! LOL!

  27. Sharon, what great questions! I never thought consciously about how I use my books.

    I used to highlight passages and use all kinds of color-coded sticky notes in my text books back when I was in college. But, somehow, I don't do any of these with my novels -- kid lit. or adult lit. I think they're more precious to me than were my text books ;). I use bookmarks (I have a penchant for bookmarks with quirky mesgs on them) so the spine wouldn't get all bent, and I am careful not to get food on the pages. Some of my favorite books do get all dog-eared and loose-paged, but that's from them having received too much love from me, not abuse :-).

    I'll definitely keep an eye on your blog for all those wonderful interveiws you seem to have lined up!

  28. I'm looking forward to Mary's interview!

    I try to take good care of my books, but if I know it's one I'm going to be coming back to time and time again, I do use sticky notes and even highlight (eek!)

  29. For the most part, my books look just like the day I brought them home from the book store. I don't bend pages, I don't break spines, I don't sit drinks on top of them. I love my books!!

  30. I'm also looking forward to Mary's interview. American Girl books are always so well written, imho. My eight-year-old loves them!

    As far as books go, I'm pretty careful with mine. Or, at least, I was pretty careful with them until I had kids. Now they take them off the bookshelves and make piles with them, and haul them around in backpacks playing "school." I find them in the strangest places. My poor books are well-loved, though maybe not for the right reasons.


  31. Elana--You dump them in a pile??? Let me know if you're going to have a garage sale any time soon. :)

    Hema--I love buying bookmarks when we are on holiday! This year I started using cards and postcards that people send me as bookmarks.

    Susan--I'm pretty sure I got the idea to highlight from you! I was a sticky note person even before there were sticky notes....I'd cut little pieces of paper, write notes on them and take a TINY piece of tape and stick it in my teacher's manuals or books I was planning to use with my class.

    DL--Are you accusing me of putting a drink on top of my books? I don't do that, but I do use my books. :) I can't wait to read your romance piece tomorrow!

    Amy--Make sure you come back and comment so you'll have a chance to win one of Mary's signed books....