Books have scars too

A couple weeks ago, I decided to re-read the entire Harry Potter series, back to back. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually read the books, and so far it’s been an eye-opening experience. (Dude. The movies have TOTALLY ruined the reading for me. I can’t help but hear the dialogue as inflected by the actors, and my mind defaults to the descriptions of people and places as imagined by the various directors. It’s kind of annoying, honestly).

Anyway, I finished HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S SORCERER’S STONE in a day, took CHAMBER OF SECRETS off the shelf, and BAM! I was whisked right back to the Summer of 2001. Because my copy of CoS has a very large, very noticeable scar.

That would be chocolate Slim-Fast spilled on the spine. It happened during this period in my life, naturally. Every time I pick up my copy of CoS, I remember plopping on a bench in front of Boston’s City Hall during my lunch break, trying to balance my liquid lunch on my knee while reaching into my purse for Chapstick, and then of course spilling the damn drink all over my book (as well as my lap). And so there it shall remain–a reminder of a dark day, permanently etched into the spine of a pretty great book.

Not all scars harbor ill memories, of course. Take this one, from George R.R. Martin’s A CLASH OF KINGS.

After the HBO series got huge, I lent my copy to so many people that the spine cracked and the glue strained to keep the pages in line. Every time I open the book, I fear it might be the end, but still it makes me smile, knowing all the people who read and loved the book after me.

What about you? Do any of your books have scars?

Posted in Reading

5 Responses

  1. I haven’t read Harry Potter. But I’m a George R.R. Martin fanboy. As far as books that have scars? Hell yes. Some people are so disrespectful of borrowed stuff. And I’m not even counting all the books I’ve lost. I no longer have any of my Anita Blake books. People basically stole them. If I want to reread them, I’ll have to buy them all over again.

    • Meredith says:

      Oh, I can sympathize with that! I’ve had so many books “borrowed” (and never returned) that I couldn’t even begin to keep count.

  2. I kind of love that the Harry Potter book with the scar is Chamber of Secrets. At least it wasn’t stabbed with a basilisk tooth?

  3. I hear you on the books borrowed and (maybe not) returned. If I lend a book, I do so assuming I will never see that book again. Then I don’t get mad if I never see it again (which is what usually happens).
    I’m rereading HP with my boys. I so hear you about seeing/hearing the movie characters. It is annoying. But my hubs and I have a good time doing the voices– I love my Dobby impersonation (someone has to).
    I have quite a few books that have been dropped in the tub… and they’re still all swollen and weird. I even feel strange about taking them to goodwill– because who wants a book that fell in someone else’s bath? Ugh!

  4. Karen Strong says:

    A lot of my books have food and water stains. I’m like “where does this come from?” But I read in bed a lot in bed. There is one book I was reading during a cheeto phases so lots of orange streaks!

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