Oct 13 2017 7:01am

Is This an Appropriate Way to Treat Books?

Some at H&H would think we're deserving of any bad luck today because of this photo. Yesterday as we were looking through our shelves someone at H&H had flipped all the books on their sides while they looked at the back row of books. So, naturally it spawned an argument about whether or not this was an appropriate way to peruse our shelves. 


While over on our Instagram, people thought this wasn't such an egregious practice:

ettacarina: We do this at the library all the time!

So, what are your thoughts? Agree or disagree that this shouldn't be how you treat a book?

Tell us your thoughts down in the comments!


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Jessie E
1. Jessie E
It's going to warp the book. Unacceptable.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
@Jessie E -- Agreed! Look at the way those two babies in the front are curving. *shudder*
Jessie E
3. KLGriffin
Oh my gosh! I can’t even breathe looking at that! Where are they? I must right them urgently!
And what atrocious library accepts this practice??
Elizabeth Halliday
4. Ibbitts
I think it is perfectly acceptable to shelve mass-market paperbacks and trade paperbacks in this direction as long as there is proper support for the books and NO bending, sagging or curling is allowed ... use bookends!
I would not recommend this shelving method for a Library or book store as the general public rarely has as much respect for books as I do. (Opinion supported by the way patrons treat the books in my public Library.)
5. smmoe1997
If it is a short-term thing so you can see the second row of books behind them? Then yes. Long-term? No, the books are going to warp as is evidenced by the bend in the first two books.

Since I don't have enough bookcases, my books are always stored two and three deep on the shelves, so I have to flip them down to see what's behind them, but I never have an issue with not enough support...usually I have too many books on the shelf , so they don't move until I remove one.
Jessie E
6. KatWVa
My books are like the characters in them tough sometimes scared, at times torn, flexable, broken and battered BUT AWAYS LOVED
Jessie E
7. lizzie18
In your picture, was it in a library/book store, or someone's personal library?

I would never store books like that because they would tend to bend. And anyway, you would still have to lean your head sideways to read the titles/authors. In my personal library, I keep my books in columns, i.e. on their backs. That way, I can fit many more books on a shelf and can easily read author's name and title, while keeping them in great condition.

Since my shelf space is limited, I keep them two columns deep on the shelves but always leave at least one space free so I can move one front column aside to easily peruse the books behind it (which are often by same author).

My books are always in pristine condition when I finish reading them, at least the first time. After a few re-readings, wear might start to show on the covers, or rather the spine/cover junction, but that's why transparent scotchtape was invented! But the books are never kept in such a way that would leave them bent, spine cracked, bent cover corners, etc... That way, I can still enjoy them the next time I take one out to read.
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