Monday, May 9, 2011

8 Points of Bookish Etiquette for National Etiquette Week [You're The Expert]

When I noticed it was National Etiquette Week this week, I couldn't help but think about how it applies to us bookish people.  Yeah yeah yeah, we all know how to keep our elbows off of the table and use a salad fork, but what kinds of etiquette do we use when we approach reading?  Here are a few things I came up with:

  1. We don't abuse our books.  That means we take care of them, we don't crack their spines and we don't bend the pages of our paperbacks all the way around so that we can hold them with two fingers.  We use bookmarks or jacket flaps to mark our place and don't dog ear the pages. It's a respect thing.
  2. We don't judge books by their covers.  It's a hard thing to do, but deciding whether or not we'll like a book solely based on its cover is verges on the uncouth, but honestly?  Who can claim their not guilty on that front? 
  3. We don't read the last page first.  I'm guilty of doing this on more than one occasion.  But, I admit it's not the polite or proper thing to do.  No matter how much we want to know what's going to happen, skipping ahead robs the author of opportunities to surprise and awe us and robs us of the reading experience we were intended to have.  {A side note:  I could write a post telling you why it is imperative that you skip to the end, but that's for another day.  It's still not proper.}
  4. Along those same lines, we start with the first book in a series.  Starting anywhere else is tantamount to skipping ahead in a text.
  5. We return the books we borrow in a timely manner.  Whether it be from a library or a friend, it's imperative that we give back the books that we've been lent so that others can enjoy them.  
  6. We never pirate books, short stories, or any derivation of that craft.  Borrowing a friend's copy isn't pirating.  But, illegally downloading an audiobook or ebook is.  Don't do it.  It's just tacky, and your library probably has a copy you can borrow.  For free.
  7. We support our favorite authors by purchasing their books.  I've had several friends tell me that they couldn't believe how much money I spend on books, and that authors shouldn't mind if I don't buy their books.  Au contraire my friends, by not supporting the book industry, I'll support its collapse.  We reward authors we love by spending our hard-earned cash on their work.
  8. We respect the opinions of others regarding a work of fiction.  That means whether it's your six-year-old sister or your eighty-nine-year-old grandfather, their opinion is valid, if only because it's their opinion.  I'm not saying you can't engage in debate and defend the stuff you like.  I'm saying no one is stupid for liking Twilight.  
So, those are eight points of bookish etiquette that I think are important.  What do you think?  Are these valid?  Are there more?  I need your help, 'cause you're the expert.  

For those of you not familiar with You're The Expert here at I Heart Monster, it's a type of post where we share some information with you, then ask you what you think about that information.  We encourage you to leave your opinion or answers in the comments section, and even write your own post as an answer if you are so inclined.  See, we're all different, and we all have different experiences, and that's part of what makes the blogosphere such a fun place - we're all experts about what we think and how we feel and our particular view on the world.  This is just a forum for you to share those with the rest of us.  If you do write a post, we'd love it if you share the link with us.


Book ♥ Soulmates said...

This is a great post and I agree with all your points, especially # 8 :) As bookworms, we all understand the hard work that goes into writing and printing our beloved stories. We must make sure to follow such simple rules not only out of respect for everyone involved, but also so that we can continue to enjoy them :)


Emily said...

I am an unapologetic end-reader, but honestly it's for the same reason that many people don't skip to the end. I like seeing how the elements of the story come together as I read; I think I picked up this habit from reading mysteries and I always enjoy putting the clues together as I read and being able to check against the ending. I prefer seeing the thought process that goes into arriving at the final page to being bamboozled as I go along. Everyone is different though!

crftyduchess said...

Thnx for sharing this great post!!1

chiara said...

I liked the post but, sadly, I'm one of so many people that judge a book for its cover. Not always but mostly. It's true I also read the plot and if this one I like, I read the book. For the rest of points, I agree totally.

Tawnya said...

Agreed. I think to expand on the borrowing one, we respect the owners desires to lend out a book or not. We also do not lend out a book that we have borrowed without the owner's permission.