Like every reader, I have lots of quirks and preferences and pet peeves. Mostly they apply to my own books, but some of them apply to library books too. It's funny to see how my reading habits have changed as I've gotten older too -- I wonder if some of them are an indication of my increasing Type-A personality characteristics.
- I really don't like large print books. I know that many people use them because they need them, and luckily I don't. However, there are times when there's a book that I really want to read, and the library only has it in large print (as in, they don't even own a regular copy...weird, huh?) I just feel like the book is yelling at me the entire time I'm reading it.
- I hate it when library books come back to the library smelling like smoke. I was once a smoker, and I never noticed the smell (smokers usually never do), but apparently I am much more sensitive to the smell now than I was even before becoming a smoker myself. Anyway, there's nothing worse than getting home, cracking open the book, and having to deal with that smell the entire time.
- I hate it when library books end up with food and drink stains on them. Yes, I read while eating too -- don't all readers do this? But I just don't understand how messy some people can be -- it's disgusting.
- No matter how many vows I make to read the books on my bookshelves and nightstand first, I can't leave the library empty-handed. If I come across a book I've been wanting to read or that looks interesting, I have to check it out right then. Yes, I know it's a library, which means the books will be there when I come back -- but there's no guarantee of that. You have no idea how many times I've been waiting on a book and it never gets returned. So I read them while I can, still swearing I'll get to those others just as soon as I'm done.
- I adore hardcover books that are smaller than average and more square in shape. Patricia McKillp's books are shaped like this, and I just love the way they fit in my hands.
- I love when publishers really think about the details of the entire book and the reader's experience. For example, Wildwood by Colin Meloy is just lovely from start to finish. It's got that great square shape, deckled edges, heavy paper, a bookjacket that isn't slick (I don't like those at all), lovely illustrations (more books should come with illustrations). The beauty of each detail just enhances the entire reading experience for me.
- I used to dogear my book pages to mark my spot, but I quit doing that when I started buying books for myself. It made a difference as to whether it was my book or not. Now I don't do it with ANY books. I have two postcards that I use as bookmarks; I'm not sure what I would do if I lost one of them.
- I don't like to loan my books out to people. I just worry that I won't ever get them back. I know that's not very generous of me at all, but I can't help it. I'd actually be more willing to go buy another copy of the book for someone than to let them borrow my copy.
- I like collecting ARCs (Advance Review Copies) of books. Part of it is the fun of getting to read a book before it "officially" comes out; part of it is that copies are fairly limited and you never know when one could end up being worth a good bit of money.
- I hate it when people leave books laying open, face down. It just wrecks the spine.
- I loveLOVElove having signed copies of books from my favorite authors. Some are copies that I've been able to have signed in person (Melanie Benjamin, Audrey Niffenegger, Erin Morgenstern, Tony Crunk, Avi, and Ned Vizzini); others are autographed copies that I've purchased as pre-orders (see my John Green novel above, complete with Hanklerfish) or purchased as signed copies after a bookstore-signing that I wasn't able to attend (Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Charles de Lint, San Kean, John Green, Holly Black, and Johnathan Carroll.)
- I'm really sad that I'll never be able to get Ray Bradbury to sign one of my books. However, I'm thrilled that I'll get to see Margaret Atwood read in October and hopefully be able to have her sign my copy of Cat's Eye.
- Even my girls have gotten in on the signing action (see below).