TSS – The Dog-Ear Manifesto

I always get a lot of flack for being an unapologetic dog-earer of book pages, library and personal copies alike.  (I can hear you all gasping right now, as I type.)  But please, hear me out.  I have here for you today, The Dog-Ear Manifesto.  The top six reasons that dog-earing a book should not only be accepted, but embraced!

1) You have a bookmark wherever you are!  No more tearing up old receipts or your child’s school art project.

2) When you dog-ear a page, there’s never any fear that you will lose your place!  Your bookmark can’t fall out when it’s part of the page.  Even if the page becomes un-dog-eared, you can still usually tell where you dog-eared a page.

3) It does little to no real damage to a book.  So the page is bent a little, it’s not the end of the world, but usually you can’t even tell!

4) Instead of writing in a library book, or using up a ton of paper, I can mark a page with a fabulous quote without hurting the book.

5) It saves the environment! You don’t have to make extra bookmarks, there’s one built right in to your book!

6) Whenever I see a library book that has been dog-eared, I immediately begin thinking about that other reader.  Are they a kindred spirit?  What did they think about this page, why did they stop here?  Was it just a good place to stop or did something interrupt their reading?  Did they find something particularly moving on this page?

A dog-eared book is a well-loved book.  Pass it on.

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32 thoughts on “TSS – The Dog-Ear Manifesto

  1. You crack me up Lu! I used to dogear library books unrepentantly, but then I realised that the receipts stuck in all of my holds could be used for the same purpose. So that’s what I do now!

    1. I use the receipts, too, and like I was telling another commenter, my library uses book mark shaped hold slips! It’s very nice of them. So I use that as a bookmark, but then dog ear for quotes.

  2. Ha ha! I dog ear as well. I use a bookmark for keeping my actual place (and another for end notes if there are any), but I happily dog-ear away when I find a quote or something I want to come back to. And what’s more, I write in my books (but never in library books).

  3. You’re almost making me want to return to my dog-earing ways… almost 😉

    I mark quotes that impress me and that I might want to include in a blog post in pencil (gasp!). With library books, I just stick random little bits of paper all over the book 😛

  4. I admit, I’m still horrified by dog-earing library copies. Personal copies, sure, no problem, but I was always taught to leave a library copy as undamaged as possible because things like dogears speed up the wearing out of a book and in the end cost the library more money. That’s probably not in the least bit true, just something I grew up with my mom saying. 😀

  5. Dog-earing a library copy? Oh, I can’t deal with that. And Amanda’s quite right—dog-earing has a bad history. Back when books were first being transferred to microfilm, there was a panic about whether or not the paper in books would last. The test? Dog-earing, which puts a piece of paper through more strain and wear than actual reading.

    I use Post-It Notes, and I recycle them—I don’t just mean I put them in the recycling bin, I mean I pick them out of a book and make a stack of Post-It Notes that are basically as good as new. 🙂

    1. I still stand by my manifesto! 😉 I like your post-it idea, but I’m afraid I would lose them or make them all wrinkly. Wish I had as much will power as you!

  6. I’ve been known to dog-ear a couple of library books (actually, laying right next to me on my end table are four cookbooks from the library that I’ve dog-eared so I can copy down the recipes before I return them today!)

    For my own personal books I tend to post-it flag them and write notes in pencil off to the side.

    But quite honestly, I love seeing marked up books (of course not outrageously so, I still expect a certain level of neatness, lol). Marked up books, in my opinion, show it was thoroughly read and loved. It made an impact.

    1. I’ll often write in my own books instead of dog earing, but sometimes I dog ear those as well. Depends on if I have a pencil or pen handy. I usually prefer pencil, though!

  7. I dog-ear books that I own and will probably want to keep for all the reasons you mention above, but I use bookmarks for library books or books I’ve borrowed from others. Like Eva, I use the library receipts as bookmarks.

    1. I use the library receipts, too. And when my library puts books on hold, they use nice, bookmark shaped hold slips. I use those too, but for marking books with quotes I like, I almost always dog ear.

  8. I dislike dog-earing books. I have done it occasionally, when I really really need to save my spot in a book and have absolutely nothing to use as a bookmark. But I hate it. My poor books. They never did anything to me. How would I like it if my books became huge and started bending my ears down?

  9. My thought? Books are meant to be READ and loved. Dog-ear away. And while I’m still getting over my fear of marking books with pencil, I’m trying to get over it. Is my copy really going to be a rare first-edition one day worth lots of money? Doubt it.

    Spine cracking, though? I used to do this and now it’s a big fat no no. Shortens the life of a book so it can’t be enjoyed as many times.

  10. maybe it’s just me but i’ve never needed a bookmark i can remember exactly where i am, even if i leave the book for months

    on the subject of writing in books, sometimes i do and sometimes i don’t. hell, when you do a English lit. degree you soon get over the anxiety of whether to write a few notes on the margins, and soon whole books are filled with illegible scribbles and multicoloured highlights.

    1. When I’m only reading one book at a time, I don’t need a bookmark either. I do write in books, but not library books. I always write in school books and often in books for fun.

  11. Okay, Lu. I admit it. I dog-ear books. I didn’t used to but then I started trying to keep track of quotes I liked and couldn’t always find a piece of paper and, well, you know, it was just easier but I never, ever write in books.

  12. I never understood why this bothered people so much. If the book has heavy or otherwise special pages, sure, but other than that, a few bent pages is hardly the end of the world.

  13. You’re so right…books are meant to be loved. My current book has oodles of dog eared pages. And a bookmark. Also, some grains of sand, and maybe a few cookie crumbs. It’s also nice and toasty warm, since it’s acting as a laptop cushion at the moment. It certainly can’t complain of a lack of attention!

  14. Those I don’t dog-ear books too often myself (not out of a sense of rightness or wrongness, mind you; I just like paper bookmarks!), I do enjoy finding the remnants of a dog-earred page in library books or other used copies! You’re right: it gets me thinking about that other reader. Why did they choose this place to stop — especially when it’s at a pinnacle part of the dialogue? Some of the dog-ears are at the ends of chapters, while others are seemingly random. Fascinating stuff!

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