To Crack the Spine or Not

Friday, March 21, 2014

I am extremely OCD, especially when it comes to the care of my books. So here is the age old question:

To crack the spine or not?

Many people have differing opinions. Some love the feel of a well-worn and well-loved book, others hate the cracks in the spine (sometimes there are so many cracks that you can't even read the title). It happens and everyone is different.

Personally, I cannot stand breaking the spines of my books. I will go above and beyond to keep the breaks from touching my books. I have successfully gone through The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind without cracking a single spine, and if you know anything about those books, you know that one of them is nearly a thousand pages long. You should be impressed; that took major talent.

I think I can count on a single hand how many crack-spined books I own. Those would include: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Squire by Tamora Pierce, as well as Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce. The only reason why those books are cracked are because I have read them so many times. I think I've probably read each of the books I listed at least 5 times.

Also, I generally stay away from used books if they have cracked spines. I know that sounds so dumb and silly, but my bookshelves have a very pristine look. I organize by the love I have for a book, so all of my crack-spined books are in one place, but the rest are tidy and neat and look like I just bought them from Barnes & Noble.

Addison, on the other hand, is completely indifferent. She doesn't care if it's used or brand new, or that the spines are so cracked that you can't read the title on the binding.

So what about you? What is your philosophy on cracking book spines?


  1. This is usually an issue with paperbacks, rather than hardcovers, right? Most of the books I read aren't thick enough for the spine to crack. Although, I do remember finding a near-pristine copy of a book in a used-book store years ago and I was disappointed when I put a crack in the spine during the course of reading. It really couldn't be helped... but it was kind of annoying since it was really noticeable (the spine was black with white text).

    I guess that's one benefit of e-books. No spines to crack!

    1. Yeah, it's definitely more of a paperbacks thing. I read a lot of thick books generally, so it's a big deal to me, plus I don't buy many books on my Kindle. I use that mostly for ARCs and things like that. :)

  2. Ooh, that's a really tough one. Um, I guess I do crack the spines. I try not to, and I don't intentionally do it, but usually there's 1 crease in the middle of my books. But not one of those really hard creases, just a faint one. I'm okay with that. I loooove books that have never been read though. I love being the first to read a particular book. :)

    1. I thought I was the only one like that! I love having my own copies, and if I know that I will probably love a certain book, I can't get it from the library. I have to own it. To me, there is just something about experiencing a certain world for the first time with your own copy. :)


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