musings

Bookish Protectiveness

Earlier today, I finally had enough courage to remove the packaging from an illustrated copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that I received for Christmas.

I say ‘courage’ because my fear of damaging this book in any way – a creased page, a greasy fingerprint, spilt food or drink – overwhelmed my anticipation for opening the book and reading this favourite of mine alongside Jim Kay’s illustrations.

I did begin reading (turning the pages very carefully). Kay’s illustrations are delightful – the colours radiate off the page, adding another layer to this magical series.

It has made me consider this desire to protect my books. Even if I wasn’t enjoying a book, I wouldn’t want it damaged in any way.

Creased paperback spines I don’t mind – they show that books have been read and enjoyed. But for most of my books, anything else is just unimaginable.

Personally, I think a lot of the protectiveness comes from the memories that the book is associated with. Harry Potter is the best example: these books filled my entire childhood and teenage years, from queuing at midnight with my parents at the supermarket for the book to be released or discussing it with friends at school. Every time I read or listen to them, I’m swept into that excited atmosphere again, so I feel the need to protect the books at all costs.

Some books mean something because of who gave it to me, or when I bought it, or simply because it’s a great story, or has a beautiful cover.

I’m aware that this is a rather random and rambling post but I’m fascinated by what makes us protective over our books.

So I was wondering,

Are there any books you’re particularly protective of?

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this so please comment below!

Thanks for reading!

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3 thoughts on “Bookish Protectiveness”

  1. I’m definitely more protective of books that have sentimental value. My dad uncharacteristically sent me a copy of Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter a few years back in the post, and I was really careful with it, and I took it into uni for a presentation and a bottle of water leaked in my back and spilt all over it. I was so devastated!

    1. Oh that sounds horrific. Did you end up getting a new copy? Ut’s a strange thing because books are just reporoduced ‘objects’, but as you say, there’s sentimental value added to *that* copy which can’t be replaced.

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