There's a lot of talk in the book blogging community regarding the look and feel of books. A lot of people I know are precious with novels, particularly paperbacks. The thought of cracking the spines and dog earring pages give them serious anxiety. I'm not one of those people.
I love a pristine book as much as the next person, however, seeing a well-worn book makes me so happy. It means that people have read them from cover to cover, completely immersed in the story. There's nothing sadder to me than a perfectly presented book in a charity or second hand shop. It means that nobody's read it and have given it away before they've even given it a chance.
There's nothing more satisfying to me than cracking a spine. A lot of my books start to wear away at the sides as I'm traveling to and from work every day on the train and if you're anything like me, you have to have a book on you!
As much as I hate the initial "damage" to the books, it shows how much I've enjoyed the book. There's nothing like picking up an old book and noticing signs of life. Although I would never write inside a book, I love spotting quotes that have been underlined and secret messages inside the covers. My boyfriend once bought a copy of Pride and Prejudice from a car boot that had a handwritten love letter inside! You wouldn't get that from a chain book store, that's for sure.
I'm not saying that I don't love the smell of an off-the-press novel, but older and worn books have more character. They have a history and I like the idea of books being able to tell something about the previous owner.