Confessions of a Mass Murderer

I confess.

I’m a book murderer.

I should be ashamed, but I swear, officer librarian, I have no control.

When I’m finished reading for the night, i dog ear the corner of the page I’m on. Yes, yes, I’ve tried bookmarks, but I lose them, the cats use them for playtoys and it’s just not the same….

I crack the spine with a nice ear-pleasing crrrrreeeeeeeeeak when the book is brand new and won’t lie easily in my hand.

I eat while reading.

I’m every librarian’s worst nightmare.

And yet, the books most used, most tattered, most abused are my favorite. I own 5 copies of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna. I own two copies of Nora Robert’s Chesapeake Bay series. 4 copies of Jude Deveraux’s a Knight in Shining Armor.

All tattered, all earmarked.

But that’s what *I* do to *my* books. I cried when I loaned out Nora Roberts and she came back with tea stains and teeth marks. And when someone once gave me back a Kristan Higgins book they’d spilled a bloody mary on? Shit hit the fan.

After I became a writer (so to speak) I got worse. I marked pages that might have a good sex scene that I wanted to deconstruct. I marked a good laugh scene, a good fight scene. One Harlequin novel had over 50 bent pages of things I wanted to re-read, to see how it was done.

And yes, I bend over the pages in library books. But as atonement for my sins, I donate a ton of books to the library every year, and always pay my copious fines on time.

So I do have a little bit of a conscience when it comes to murder.

A very little. =)

How about you? Are you a book murderer?



10 Responses to “Confessions of a Mass Murderer”

  • I am the exact opposite to you! I hate creasing the spine on paper backs. I really try to avoid it but it’s not always possible – when you get to a really good bit in a book your brain is unaware of what your hands are doing to the book.
    But then I do have a love for hardbacks – you can’t crease the spine of them (well you probably could if you put some effort in!). And I like to look at them without the dust cover on – so if it gets torn it doesn’t matter.

    I always use a bookmark… even if it is just a bit of paper or a post it note. I only dog ear pages in magazines.

  • I’m a little bit better when it comes to hardbacks, but just barely. Maybe not a mass murderer, but a maimer instead….=) Still dog ear the pages.
    Funny thing, I’ve never thought of dog earring a magazine page…hmmm…a whole new line of victims!


  • *Makes note never to lend Carrie a book*

    No dog earring pages. No no no. I do like the book to open wide, so I won’t knock the spine cracking. But the dog earring? That’s brutal.

    I’ve gotten lazy over the years so I avoid hardbacks. I don’t want to feel like lifting weights just to read a book. I need light and bendable.

    But I agree on dog earring magazines. No problem with that.

    (Are these books you’re donating already dog eared? LOL!)

  • I had a real problem with a Lee Childs book I read…it was tall and thin and uncomfortable to hold…craaaaaaacked that spine right away.

    And dog earred the pages. =)

    And yes, I donate dog earred books. And yes, I get lectured every single time.

    You can’t change a convicted criminal.

  • Linda:

    Well, my dad was the district librarian for a school district so he had some pretty tight regulations on book abuse in our household when I was growing up. So, I always bookmark, never dog ear and never, never crack the binding, even on a paperback. I finish reading a book I’ve bought and it looks brand new. Heck, if I had no conscience, I could probably even return it and get my money back! But, that’s not the problem. The problem is in lending that pristine book out to somebody who eats sticky stuff, dog ears pages and makes the spine crack in so many places that the pages look to be on the verge of falling out. I weep and mourn, then remember it is just a paperback…meant to be devoured and enjoyed!

  • Devoured is a good word choice Linda…lol….and your dad would have hated me and my books. Someday I’ll get a Kindle and my murdering days will be over……


  • I organically can’t, even if it’s a third hand paperback bought to survive a flight or a queue. I use anything I can find – a ticket, a recepit, paperclip, at worst I would rememebr the page number. anything but not dog earing. Something just stops me. I think I may have been traumatised by a brilliant but formidable officer librarian in my childhood.

    I also like marking good scenes in HQ novels I want to re-read and deconstruct – I stick a post-it note and scrible a key word on it for easier reference.

  • Kate, maybe it would have been best if I had been traumatized, instead of led down the path of destruction and mayhem. =) Poor SEP’s book Dream a Little Dream already has at least 5 bent over pages! There’s no end to the murdering spree! lol….


  • Hellion:

    I’m a MASS book murderer. I have gotten *slightly* better over the years: I have started using bookmarks more and less dogearing. But I’m a spine-cracking, spaghetti-eating-while-I’m-reading book reader, smudging out tomato sauce as I turn the page. It’s horrifying, but I’m able to sleep at night.

    I use post its if I want to deconstruct a scene, marking the page with a note of WHY so I remember it. Otherwise I’d be like, “Why did I dogear this?” HOWEVER, in the old days, before my mind was a sieve, I’d dogear and I’d pick up a book and go, “Ah, this is the one with the magnificent sex scene.” OR “I really loved the banter in this massive fight.” OR “This was so funny, but it felt so effortless. HOW?” Now I have to write a note. I think I’ve read too many books to keep everything straight.

  • Ms.…glad to know your murdering sprees don’t interrupt your sleep….
    I’m really going to have to try the post-it note routine in the books, now that i’m OLDER it’s getting harder to remember why I bookmar…er..dogeared it! =)

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