Thursday, 23 January 2020

"The Book Murderers" - What's with those people who mistreat lovely books in horrible ways? Today's ReadItTorial

They called him "The Book Murderer" and this image - of a particularly weighty tome being rent in half across its spine by a canny chap who just wanted to make it more portable - had Twitter a-fire this week.

When I first saw the image, the first thing I thought of was the cries of "Heresy!" that would erupt across my timeline from folk we follow - and sure enough there were some pretty nasty roasts and pithy comebacks to the fellah who bravely (well, let's face it, for clicks and giggles) shared this horrible image.

We've always gone out of our way to encourage our daughter to look after her books. When we visit other people's houses and see their children's books, bend, dribbled on, mutilated, drawn on or even in one case (shudder) with pages and images cut or town out, we almost end up in a cold sweat.

But is it really that big a deal? My own Twitter response was that it hugely depends on the book itself. If you're going to do horrible things to - say - an E.L. James book (let's face it, she did something pretty horrible to those books in the first place, she created them) or even Dan Brown (I remember seeing 36 copies of "The Da Vinci Code" all lined up, in pristine condition, at a National Trust second-hand book nook once, completely unloved but obviously flavour-du-jour for someone who thought that his achingly slow prose was worth persevering with).

Then there are those folk who do this sort of thing...

Or this...

..sometimes hacking apart old books to make something beautiful could possibly be allowable / acceptable (but in the image above I suspect those lovely old things were butchered needlessly).

We humans are a funny bunch. On one level we revere inanimate objects that bring us joy, on another level we are all about the convenience of the moment. Personally I think the book murderer is after the fame of it all, and is just being bloody-minded about not buying a Kindle and storing his over-length books in a handy portable digital device (which I'm won over on - not as a replacement for all books but certainly as the only way I can now consume longer books without going completely nutso).

Would love to see someone break a Kindle in half to make it more portable though!