If she could see one of my paperbacks, she'd cry.
The print always goes too close to the margins for my comfort, so I force the books wide open, cracking their spines. If the phone rings while I'm reading, I think nothing of turning down a page to mark my place. I usually have breakfast alone, and sometimes I'll toss the newspaper aside and pick up a book. If I happen to drop a blob of orange marmalade on one of the pages, I just rub it off with my thumb and keep reading.
Many of the paperbacks currently parked on the shelf in my office are ratty and dog-eared; the worse a book's condition, the more likely it is to have been loved long and well. If a book's still pretty, that usually means I didn't care for it, and didn't read more than a few pages. I'm into instant gratification, probably because I'm nearing fifty and am beginning to fear that if I don't get my gratification right now, I might die waiting for it. So I don't bother to finish books that don't pull me right in.
In my mind, paperback books are like Kleenex and hardcovers are like Irish linen handkerchiefs; there's a time and place for both. I love paperbacks for their low prices and portability, hardcovers for their beauty and longevity. I treat my hardcovers pretty well: I keep them far away from orange marmalade, and I don't scribble phone messages on them.
How about you?