Tuesday, February 21, 2012

All I Ever Wanted... In A Book

By: Maggie

To piggyback on Noelle's fantastic review of All I Ever Wanted, there's a passage in the book that really struck a chord with me. Mim's mom accidentally gives away Mim's beloved travel books, thinking they're old and used and unwanted. For Mim, though, these books that she's read over and over again are proof that a bigger, better world exists. Mim's neighbor and recipient of the books ends up giving them back to her, saying she knew the books were given away by mistake. When Mim asks how she could've known that, her neighbor replies,
"Because these books have been loved. You don't just give away books like these." She picks a book up and opens it in the middle. "See? Fingernail makes. Under every line." She holds a page up to the light and it's worn thin as rice-paper and scored with horizontal lines.
As a reader, I loved this passage. As an anal retentive, I was horrified. Lines in the book?? Creases in the binding?! Never have I ever! Some of my favorite books growing up were the American Girls Collection, particularly the Samantha Parkington series. This was back in the day when the dolls were mail order only and the only characters were Kirsten, Molly, and Samantha. Felicity and Addy came later. I must have read the Samantha books over 100 times each. And here is what my books, which I kept through move after move, look like today.

Perfect. Like new. See, this to me means the books were cherished. Loved. I would never have marked them up. At the same time, when I do see someone brazenly marking up a book, I'm totally awestruck, like, What a BADASS!

Welcome to Young Adult Anonymous, where you can let your crazy out. So what kind of reader are you?


  1. Hmm...I was a combination of both. Having two sisters it was difficult to keep the books in pristine condition after they got through everyone's hands. My mom actually laminated some of our paperback covers--the horror!--but it kept them as non-grubby as possible.

    Today it's one of the reasons I love my Kindle: take notes, mark it up, bookmark it....and then buy a beautiful untouched copy for my shelves if I really love the book.


  2. I agree with Noelle, I'm a bit of both. :)
    I love pristine copies but I do love it when I find one of my old books and it's all dogeared and dusty and it reminds me of how much I read it!

    Although, for my all-time favourites, I tend to have two copies. One to lend out to other people and one to keep mine, all mine.

    [Maggie: You would hate to see the state of my Harry Potter books. Each book was my 'holiday' book so they have sand stuck in the spine from various French beaches. ;)]


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