Tea and Biscuits Book Discussions: Breaking In Your Books

Tea and Biscuits is a book discussion meme that I started to talk about current issues, books, romance novels—the good and the bad and the ups and downs of reading.

So for this week, I want to talk about something new that I discovered and I just wanted to share it with you all. Now I have adored reading printed books for so long especially those fun paperbacks. There is so much to love about them, and I have been reading them for years ever since I got hooked on romance novels. I got hooked when I was a teenager, and that was before there was anything like e books and audiobooks were expensive and hard to come by back then unless you found them used in a thrift store on cassette tape—yep you heard me CASSETTE TAPES!! That is how I started listening to audio books. 🙂 But today I want to touch base on something that effects us all…..printed books. I am sure all of us loving seeing books on our bookshelves….so gorgeous and smelling good and adding character to our homes and lives.

But do you ever wish you could read a paperback without ruining the spine?(Look to the picture to the right)  Without the cracks and creases and pages that fall out?  For Years I just accepted it as is, because I hate reading a book that has a cracked spine and if I want to keep the book in pristine condition I would have to barely open the book to keep the spine from breaking. However I realized through some research and some experimenting what really works for me. Now granted I just started doing this this past week, so not sure if it will work on every single book you buy, but so far I have had some great experience. But I wanted to share what I learned and it gave me happy feels reading a book that I could open flat without having ruined a good book especially a book I pay full price for. Now this process is good for any book and I feel like we as book lovers should probably be doing this with ALL of our books so that they can last as long as possible and stay in the best quality.

Step One: Cover Pages

So there are steps to this process….the first is to grab your book. You want to make sure you have a solid flat surface to work on. Your bed or carpet do NOT count. A table or a desk is your best bet for this to work right because you want to make sure the spine of your book has the best support. You want to press the spine of your book flat with the rest of the book upwards towards the ceiling. Move the spine of your book up and down firmly. The next step is to bring the front and back cover pages down on the flat surface that you are using and press with your hands as close as you can to the inner spine. Press your fingers up and down the spine firmly from top to bottom of the book, you can do this process as many times as you would like.

Step 2: The Pages

The next step is to work on the pages. You can choose whether to do small tiny sections or take the extra time to do page by page. Start from the back and front and work towards the middle. You bring down a page or small section from both the front side and the back side down towards the table, pressing down with your fingers up and down close to the spine, up and down a few times. And keep doing this with each section or page until you get to the middle of the book. I normally do this a few times. So that I can get it evenly broken in and you will notice that the spine will curve slightly. This is normal and part of the process. The first time I did this I checked the spine every time and made sure my spine wasn’t cracking and nope it was more than fine. This is where you are stretching a stiff spine…think of it like stretching muscles before a workout.

Step 3 Fanning and Rolling

The next step is to bring the book closed, and with your hands, put the spine horizontally in your hands, and roll the edges around the spine back and forth. This is a extra step that will really stretch the binding on the spine that will help prevent breakage. Then you want to hold the book by the spine and fan the pages back and forth. And you will notice that as you hold the book by the spine, that the pages will/should fan out.

Step 4: Repeat the process a few more times

I always say that more is better than less when it comes to breaking in your books. So I would make sure that you do this process at least 2-3 times. Now once you feel like your book is broken in enough, its ready to go to read and enjoy and you will notice that your book will be easier to open and shouldn’t crack. Now I feel like this process can be good for any books whether they are paperbacks or hardcovers. Now I do think this is more beneficial to paperbacks because the spines break more easily on them than they do hardcover. But if you want your books to stay in good condition, than this is a process that is essential.

Questions For My Readers

So tell me…what is your preference? Do you like to break in your books? Or do you just like to read them and not worry about cracks in the spine? We all have different preferences for our books so I would love to know….tell me in the comments below.