Harry Potter and the Broken Spine
If I've done one thing right as a mom (and, boy, do I hope I've done something right), it's that I've raised voracious readers.
I'm going to offer proof.
Now, what I'm about to show you might be disturbing, so if you were raised (as I was) to treat your books like they were royal family heirlooms, you may wish to avert your eyes.
This is but one collection (thank you, Rick Riordan). Poor Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone finally had to be put down and replaced.
I don't know about the rest of the world, but when I was growing up, it was impressed upon me that one does not - not! - damage books. One does not dog-ear pages, one does not leave books open face down (shudder), one does not write in books. Breaking the spine? I don't even have the words.
It would be simply barbaric to treat books as anything other than fine collectibles.
But when I look at those books in the photos above? Honestly, I get all melty inside and think: this is exactly what books should look like.
Those are well-loved books. They were read in the car, on an airplane, at night in the dark (don't get me started), at school, at sleepovers, at the pool.
I believe Rick Riordan would look at that ragged pile of pulp and think, "I've done a good thing."
I'm not going to go all spine-breaky on my own books due to this awakening, but I did find myself dog-earing a page the other night, having misplaced my book mark. Then I promptly un-dog-eared the page, apologized to the book, and closed it properly, losing my place as penance.
I'm no barbarian.