If there were a priest of all things literary, I would owe him a couple confessions.
I read and finished exactly one Nicholas Sparks book before throwing it across the room as hard as I could. It was The Notebook, a movie I’d loved and cried over. I’d braced my mind to be blown because the books are always better than the movies. While it’s possible my bar was set too high, it’s also entirely possible that he wasn’t even trying. I think I said that aloud when I got about halfway through the book, “You’re not even trying, are you?” It was just domino line up after domino line up—a suspense machine. We all have our readerly biases, and my criteria for a good read occurs on the sentence level. Ideally, I want to be falling over myself with jealousy for the perfect order and selection of words. Anyone can follow the recipe for apple pie, but if you haven’t picked the right apples, there is really no reason to bother with the pie. Nicholas Sparks is fantastic at following pie recipes, but he’ll put any apple in them, worms and all.
It would be no surprise to me if Nicholas Sparks loved George Bernard Shaw, playwright of Major Barbara, my most hated book of all time. This leads to my second confession: In my younger, edgier years, I finished Major Barbara and promptly tore out every page, singly crumpled up each one, and threw it into the trash can. It was just terrible. Wish it on no one.
These confessions are my full disclosure in the off chance that any of you knows the stories already and wants to call shenanigans on my argument about the care and keeping of books. These were two extreme examples of my violence against the written word, and for these instances, however deserved, I am sorry.
Here are ten book rules we follow in the Price house. For my autumnal assignment today, Daina selected “skeletons.” Because she said the word, and whenever Daina says anything, books come to mind, my thoughts went straight to spines and the eternal question of “To break or not break?” Here are our thoughts on the subject of spines and a few other things.
We’ve found book hoarding to be overlooked by most psychologists as a
socially acceptable habit of the literati. And thank God.
But here is our most important rule.
1. IF IT’S THERE, IT’S THERE TO SHARE.
The Price Lending Library is open always. See a book? Take a book.
We can always buy more. And we will.