Death of a Book

For the first time in my life I’ve thrown a book away… into the recycling bin. The book was Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. And no, it wasn’t because I thought it was bad. I was actually enjoying it, but I had no choice as it literally fell apart.

I had pulled the book from my parents’ bookcase a week before and I knew they had had it for a long time. A glance at the inside cover showed that this soft cover edition was published in 1989, the year of its first publication.

This book had joined my parents on several moves, the last of which was from Switzerland to Belgium. It was also clear that it had been read several times. The blue colour on the spine had almost all flaked away. My mother had recommended it to me years ago and I thought it was time to read it.

But reading was difficult. The moment I read the odd side of the page and flipped it over, the page came lose from the spine. I read the even side and then just threw the page away. I didn’t make such a big deal about this. I would just be the last person to read this loved copy of Pillars of the Earth. All was well for the first sixty pages or so until the pages that I hadn’t read yet began falling out.

It was too unpractical to continue reading it so I chucked it into the recycling bin. Now I need to go to the nearest bookstore and get a new copy. Thankfully it’s still in print.



5 thoughts on “Death of a Book

    1. I haven’t seen the mini-series yet. I am planning on doing that after I’ve read the book. But I still haven’t gotten round to buying a new copy and I’ve started reading something else.

  1. That’s what’s called “perfect binding” (clearly an ironic term) – it’s where the “book” paper (can’t remember the correct term) is simply glued to the spine of the cover. Jilly Cooper books are done the same way and the same thing happens. Better (if not as cheap) for paperbacks is “notched” binding where the paper bit has notches cut into it before it is glued – the glue sticks better making it more secure. Best of all, of course, are the hardback books where the bindining is stitched. For added lustre (and expense) use end papers, preferably coloured or bearing some sort of design.


    1. ‘Perfect binding’. I never knew that. Must be ironic. Hardbacks are beautiful, but bad for my back as I also lug around a book wherever I go. Paperbacks are just more convenient (if they don’t fall apart).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s