Bookmarks & Dog Ears

My daughter leaves empty bowls on the table, discarded clothes on the floor and X-box games on her bed, but when it comes to her books, she’s finicky. A creased book jacket is abhorrent. Crackled spines are a no-no. But the worst of the worst—the greatest offense to a good hardcover, in her opinion—is the dog-eared page.

It’s funny how finicky some people are about their books. Some readers highlight compelling passages and write notes in the margins. Others wouldn’t dream of making a single mark on a clean page. Some are loyal to bookmarks, even if it’s the closest scrap of paper or yesterday’s grocery receipt. There are folks who use the dust jacket to mark their page. There are ambivalent dog-earers and passionate non-dog-earers, like my daughter, who lives in a literary world of crisp pages, taut spines and smooth book jackets.

A group of true book nerds recently took a poll on GoodReads about how they keep their place. The vast majority opted for the bookmark. A rare few preferred the dog-ear.

I’m not sure what it is about a dog-ear that certain finicky readers find so irritating. I dog-ear my pages. Well, sometimes. Only if the corner make a perfect triangle. And only if I can smooth out the crease once I pick the book up again.

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