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Poll Results: Do You Dog-Ear Pages In Books?

Thanks to those who answered my dog-earing survey! Exactly 100 people responded. I know the percentages don’t add up to exactly 100; I think SurveyMonkey was rounding up or down.

It was fun to see how OPINIONATED many of us are about dog-earing pages in books; non-readers just wouldn’t care, would they?

Most of the pro-dog-ear comments focused on the “books are made to be loved” theme, said that the content is much more important than the appearance of the book. Some said that while they don’t dog-ear pages themselves, they love coming across dog-eared pages in used or library books because they’re like clues left behind by previous readers.

Those against tended to regard the practice of dog-earing pages in other people’s books as a form of vandalism.

Some dog-ear their own paperback books but prefer keep some (like rare or autographed editions) in good condition. Some only dog-ear their books that they know have a short shelf life and will be replaced with updated versions, like school textbooks.

Here are just a few of the comments about dog-earing books while reading:

“I hate dog-ears, because when they inevitably tear off, they take words and page numbers with them!” – @IshtaWrites

“Dog-earring a book is like marking a Rembrandt with a magic marker just to remember where you left off on your museum tour!”

“Dog-ears, margin notes, post-its… all signs I love a book. Autographed books are the exception; I like to keep those in good condition.”

“I was shocked to learn that people deliberately dog-eared books to mark pages. I thought dog-ears were just remnants of unhappy accidents by careless readers.”

“I unfold them whenever I find them!”

“You can always find a bookmark. A receipt, a bit of ribbon, a business card. To me, a dog-eared page indicates a certain lack of imagination.” – Marty Coady Fabish

“I’ve seen too many older books with the once-dog-earred corners now falling off.”

I do not loan books to people who will not take care of them. One should not write in or dog ear or otherwise damage someone else’s books ( or public library books).

“I used to – and lay them face down, too. Don’t know why I stopped, but now it bothers me when people crack the spines…I don’t lend to people who dogear, at all.” @jjmcgaffey

“I did until I discovered Post-It flags! My dog-earing days are over.” – @adams_jac

“I can’t stand reading a book that has been dog-eared.”

“NEVER NEVER NEVER … and don’t you dare put a pencil mark in any of the books either … unless it is one of mine and you are signing the book! Books are like a newborn – pristine and untainted!”

“When I read books I view it as a whole and I think that people who dog ear pages view books as parts of a whole. I highlight non-fiction but never dog-ear…just who I am!” – @dad2ella

“I don’t even crease the spine!” – Tuhin Giri

“Dog-ears are my waymarkers to significance/brilliance. Like the X on a pirate’s treasure map that denotes: here be the gold! :)” – @KathyHolzapfel

“Post-it notes are my most common form of bookmarks. I’ve been gifted others, magnets that fold over the edge of a page, standard cardstock or leather bookmarks, a decorative rubber band like dealio. I still usually revert to blank post-it notes. – Jen Distad, avid reader (=”

“Absolutely, never, ever, ever! As an elementary library specialist this is one of my pet peeves. I always have slips of paper or bookmarks available for the students to use. It’s my attempt to stop dog-earring from happening.”

“Will dog-ear paperbacks that I throw away after I’ve read them. I will never ruin a proper book.”

“Books have always been special to me. They are my friends, especially during life’s lonely times. I try not to scuff up my friends.” – @cherylreads

“I will sometimes dog ear nonfiction books (that I own) that I’m reading for research to help me find key pages later. For some reason that feels okay, but dog earring novels doesn’t.” – @megancrewe

“I occasionally dog-ear library books if they’re already battered and manky, but wouldn’t do it to a new book. (The same goes for my own books, actually; it depends how manky they are to start with, and whether I bought them second-hand or not.)” – @miriamjoywrites

“I try to never dog-ear someone else’s copy of a book, (including library copies), but I dog-ear my books all the time. I don’t mind reading dog-eared books — in fact I’m fascinated by the places where people have stopped reading. If they dog-eared at a critical point, I think, “How could you actually set the book DOWN at this point?” What could have drawn a reader away? Perhaps they will be returning to that spot to savor an author’s words? Maybe they didn’t understand something? So many interesting questions come with dog-eared pages! Fun poll, Debbie! :)” ~ Patricia Toht

“I don’t understand why anyone would dog-ear the pages in SOMEONE ELSE’S book. That’s like visiting a friend’s house and deliberately sprinkling grape juice all over the living-room carpet. I once loaned my copy of the fourth Harry Potter book to a number of friends. One of them apparently felt it was okay to correct one of the errors in the book (in pencil, but still) and hand it back to me without a word. I’m still not sure who it was.” @angrykem

“Don’t lay the book open or fold the front over the back. Breaks the binding and the book wears out FAST.” – @deoris1

“I also read books in the bath.”

“I think dog-earing books that aren’t yours is really rude. If they’re yours, I don’t care, but I don’t do it to mine.”

“I don’t mind if other people dog-ear their personal books. It is annoying if it is a library book!” – @lehmanac

“I use to dog ear pages but I don’t anymore. I’m a recovering dog ear pages person. ;)” – @daydreamreader

“I used to hate and avoid it, but a few things changed that. I started reading masses of ARCs (which fall apart after two reads) and I’d go through them so quickly and switch books so often that I’d start trying to use pens or hair ties or other books or whatever I had on hand to mark my place, and some of those things can warp the book or break the binding if you’re not careful, which to me is worse than a dogeared page. Around the same time came a pretty heavy rise in ebooks, whose sterility I dislike. You CAN’T dogear an ebook. I love the realness of touching pages. So yes, now I’m willing to fold down a tiny corner if I don’t have a bookmark, and I unfold it when it’s time to move on.” – @infamousfiddler

“Gah! Dog-earing makes me twitch. – @joannelevy :)”

“I buy a lot of used books and it’s interesting to see what’s been dog-eared. I use post-it tabs.” – @joyjoycorcoran

“I try not to if they’re not my own but sometimes I just can’t help it ;)” @almemoore


Curious about my other publishing industry surveys? Feel free to browse current and past Inkygirl Surveys online.

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