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wildpotato's avatar

Which books have you literally read to pieces?

Asked by wildpotato (15224points) September 8th, 2013 from iPhone

When I was a kid I read both Laurence Yep’s Rainbow People and Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion until they fell apart and I had to rubberband them. As an adult I only ever did it to a copy of Leibniz’ Theodicy because it was a really old binding, my puppy got to it, and I used it a lot on my thesis.

Did you ever read a beloved or useful book until it fell apart?

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23 Answers

Michael_Huntington's avatar

My copy of Paradise Lost is starting to fall apart.

CWOTUS's avatar

I have a 100+ year old copy (non first edition, just an old book) of a potboiler western, A Child of the Plains that was already beat to hell when I acquired it more than 50 years ago. It’s totally falling apart now, but I think it still has all of its pages, at least. (The front cover is detached, too, but still present.)

filmfann's avatar

A couple of my Harry Potter books are falling apart due to poor care during reading.

muppetish's avatar

My copies of The Canterbury Tales and The Metamorphoses of Ovid are falling apart at the seams. They were used by at least 3–4 different students at university after I purchased them (and who knows how many before me because they were used books already.) Ovid is probably the most well-loved as I pull it off the shelf to look up specific myths all the time.

zenvelo's avatar

My paperback copy of Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”. I bought it used, and it is getting pretty worn out.

Blondesjon's avatar

The Talisman
The Tommyknockers
The Hobbit
The entire Lord Of The Rings trilogy
The Dune series through God Emperor Of Dune
The entire Wheel Of Time series.

Pachy's avatar

I still have a paperback copy of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám from my college days that’s in multiple pieces but still readable. The Moving Finger writes…

Berserker's avatar

My copy of Trainspotting isn’t falling apart, in fact it’s in decent condition. I bought it used more than 10 years ago, and I’ve read it so many times, but I take care of my shit, at least as best I can.

Seek's avatar

The Tell-tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe.

It’s been glued, taped, held together with looseleaf paper reinforcements, and several times ironed flat after being dropped in the bathtub.

SomeoneElse's avatar

The Stand by Stephen King
Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett
@Blondesjon I have never read Dune but really should: it appears that you have enjoyed it a lot!

talljasperman's avatar

Both my dictionary and my thesaurus.

Blondesjon's avatar

@SomeoneElse . . . It was a totally random find for me when I was 13. My grandmother was a book hoarder it was such a beautiful thing. On one of many afternoons going through her seemingly endless collection of cardboard boxes full of paperbacks, I came across the first four books in the series. I’d never heard of Frank Herbert or the story but after the first 100 pages I was hooked hard. It was my first taste of complex, adult science fiction and I couldn’t get enough.

Unbroken's avatar

Olaf Stapleton’s odd John.
I found it in the librarybof a.teen shelter mom kicked me into when I was a preteen and refused to go into the church.

My dad got mad at her and they came to pick me up. The Nazi running the home met my parents said they were obviously very nice parents and I was a dramatic problematic child and I didn’t belong there. She did tell me I could take the book and bring it back to her and we could have some chats but I felt betrayed because for one night I felt like I was safe and knew that I could achieve what was expected from me. I realized that was a new feeling. And that was the first time I cried for years. I never went back even to return the damn book. I liked it. And it still sits on my shelf and I read it on occasion

SomeoneElse's avatar

@Blondesjon I will away to the bookshop/charity shop as soon as I can and find a copy. Thanks for the reply!

15barcam's avatar

The Harry Potter series. I read each book 11 times. Keep in mind thats the equivalent of 77 books. LOOOOOVEEEE them!!!

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

I have a really good pasta cookbook that I’ve owned for years and used frequently. The pages are no longer attached to the binding; they’re all loose, and the book covers serve as a sort of envelope to hold them in one place. The cookbook’s skinny, so I just use a binder clip on the whole mess.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

The little ones, like Of Mice and Men, Animal Farm and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I’ve read them all to pieces more than once and replaced them many times. They can be read in one night and are delightful works. There is always something new to find, either an unnoticed writing device, or a little something within the story itself. They are also perfect to read aloud to someone else, they are like fairy tales for adults. Grapes of Wrath has been replaced a few times—it is my family’s story, maternal side. We have a signed first edition somewhere, probably in the same trunk with the family Confederate battle flag. There have been other books that I have fallen asleep reading and rolled over time and again and broke their spines. I can be pretty rough on the physical longevity of books, unless they are first editions, or nice portfolios, etc. I have very little respect for badly bound paperbacks that can’t handle being bend a few times without losing their pages. I would be furious if my publisher ever put my words in something so cheap.

linguaphile's avatar

By the time I was 13—I wore out:
“Kane and Abel” by Jeffrey Archer
“To Take a Dare” by Paul Zindel and Crescent Dragonwagon
“Ballet Shoes” by Noel Streatfield
“Emily of New Moon” by LM Montgomery
my “Little House” series and
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by the queen of Alabama herself.

naynay86's avatar

My favorite books I have ever read were The Perks of Being a Wallflower…the other was I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. As embarassing as this is however, a book that I have gone through more then I am sure any other person in the world was Witness for the Prosecution of Scott Peterson lol…I was very interested in the case and have always loved things involving the law and justice.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

My Sherlock Holmes anthology is literally about to fall apart into loose-leaf paper.

Mimishu1995's avatar

The Last Sherlock Holmes Story. I really don’t remember how many times I’ve read it so far. The only thing I know is that all the pages have turned yellow.

This book has an interesting history too, back to the time when I couldn’t speak English as fluently as now: one day my mom decided I should practice my English skill by reading some English books. We started with those Oxford books, from level 1. When I finally reached level 3, one day while we were in the local bookstore I found this book. I was so impressed by the title that I grabbed it at once. I wasn’t disappointed. It was a murder mystery but had a really unusual plot and it focused more on the character development than the actual investigation process, therefore the story was so realistic and I was fully involved. I had never read any detective story with such an twisted plot The ending was so shocking but really made sense. I remembered staying up late just to find out who the true killer was. It was actually the book that bring me to Sherlock Holmes (not those Conan Doyle ones).

I wish I could get my hand on the original version though.

Juels's avatar

All of my David Edding’s books are falling apart. I keep taping them back together. I’ve had some of them since 6th grade and refuse to give up on them! Absolutely love the Belgariad and Malloreon series.

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