This I Believe

Chris - Pittsburgh
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in treating books with care. I have always made an effort to keep my books in good condition. Books provide a great sense of enjoyment and satisfaction for me while in use, and it natural for me to want to keep them in good condition for later. In order for a book to last a lifetime and possibly longer, it needs to be treated with care. If kept in good condition, I know that my favorite books will always be waiting for me to visit again. One day, I hope to share my memories of reading these stories, and the books themselves with my children as my parents did with me. This is my way of showing respect for what books represent: the knowledge and passion of the authors.

When I was in elementary school a friend of mine asked to borrow a book to read for a book report. When I got it back I barely recognized it. The book looked as though it had narrowly survived some sort of cruel torture. It was almost completely destroyed; the cover was falling off, and every page was dog-eared. After seeing that destruction, I realized how important it is to take care of books. This was not the last time I had seen the horrific treatment of objects whose only purpose is to provide information. In high school civics, I was issued a book that looked as though it should have been replaced a long time ago. Its back cover, as well as several pages from the index was missing. There is definitely a difference between a book that has been used and a book that has been mishandled. I greatly prefer the former.

Perhaps the reason for my belief is because I have seen what can happen to books that have been mistreated. In transit, my hard-back books are covered, and my paperback books are wrapped in cloth. My friends joke that borrowed books end up in better condition after I’ve returned them. The funny thing is, they’re not that far off. Books are very expensive in college, and this has convinced me to take special care of them because I want to keep them in good condition to either sell, or to keep for myself. I hope that my passion has helped to encourage listeners to take better care of his or her books.