Book ~ 书

Both my friend and I are book lovers who always buy our books. With that, we are always having the problems of flooding bookcases. Books is also a frequently discussed topic during our outings.

Our characters are totally opposites, so how we treat our books also differs a lot. She is a really very elegant and feminine lady whereas I am a careless tomboy. Our contradictory personalities also reflects on the books we owed.

She is someone who would willingly spend time to take good care of her books. Every book that reaches her would be neatly wrapped with protective plastic covering. The book would also be cleared of scribblings, notes or folds. After she finishes reading the book, it is still in such excellent condition that I think the book store would gladly take the book back as brand new stock.

Well, I do not treat my book that kindly. Books in my hands have to be prepared to go travelling with me. And I have a lot of bad habits when reading. When I am alone, the book got to keep me entertained, ensuring that I am not bored. I am careless, therefore I do not emulate my friend’s habit of wrapping up my books at the very first moment. Therefore, my books ended up with battle scars.

My friend would also use bookmarks to lovingly indicate which page she is currently at. Well, bookmarks to me are just like a long-lost old friend: so familiar yet we are strangers. In one of the drawers in my room lay my bookmarks collection. However, they are all under-utilised these days. Nowadays, my bookmarks are the book receipts, meal receipts, paper covers for disposable chopsticks etc. They are all of bookmark potential. When I really can’t lay my hands on a suitable bookmark, then the current page would just have to bear with a fold in the corner.

My friend seriously dislike all these bad habits of mine and often criticise me for ill-treatment of my books. Therefore, in her personal crusade, books that I had lent to her all come back wrapped with protective plastic covers, just like how a tomboy had for personal grooming class. Good thing I am often able to recognise them!

Sometimes, I can’t help but to think: Reading, isn’t it about the joy of it? Why should the covering and protection of the book be that important? As long as all the pages are intact, the words did not disappear, isn’t that enough?

Perhaps I should really reflect on this. Afterall, first impression counts.

我和一位朋友都是爱读书之人。两个人买书是属于绝不手软的那类型,家中书的数量可想而知。两人碰面时也时常谈起自己最近读的书。

两人的个性可说是完全不同,对待书的态度也不一样。我这位朋友是女人味十足的高贵美女,而本人天生男性化也粗心。我们这两种特点也反映在我们拥有的书上。

她是一位很愿意花时间照顾书的读书人。每一本书到了她手上,一定会被她细心包好保护塑料纸。书本是绝对没有图鸦、笔记或绉折的。她所读过的书仍然保护得品质如新,绝对有条件可卖回给书店。

本人对书的态度可就没那么客气了。书到我手上,就得准备陪我“闯江湖”,到处跑。本人读书也坏习惯多多。当我在外,只要是自己一个人,手上的书就得要应酬我了,确保我不觉得闷。我性格粗心,不会象朋友那样,在书本到手的第一刻就让它“穿衣”保暖,因此到我手上的书也就常常“挂彩”了。

我朋友也会用书签来标记自己读到哪一页。书签对本人而言确实一样曾经熟悉可现在陌生的朋友。在我房里的某个抽屉中可藏着我曾经细心收集的书签,但是现在全都“英雄无用武之地”。现在我读书有时候会用收据来充当书签 —— 买书时的收据、吃饭结帐后的收据、即用筷的纸套等等,对我而言全都有书签“潜能”。当我手上真的没象样的书签“物选”,那就得要委屈我正在读的那一页,被我折上一角了。

朋友非常在意我的这些行为,老觉得我好不懂得保护自己的书,所以每当我借书给她,书本一到了她手上,就好象一个男人婆去上仪态班一样,回来是必定是被“打扮”回来的。好在我这“书娘”还认得自己的“书子”。

可有时候我也不禁要想:读书嘛,不是读书时的乐趣,读书后的反省过程比那书的外表重要吗?只要页张没脱落,字字句句还在,不就够了吗?

或许我真的应该反省反省了。毕竟佛靠金装,人靠衣装,书本也得要看看自己的外表包装?

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