A Book Nerd’s Nightmares // The 10 Deadly Foes of Books

Prepare for the worst, because I’m bringing out all the the real-life villains of books. This post is not for the feint of heart. Read at your own risk.

1. Time

Ask my 50-year old edition of Agatha Christie’s ABC murders. The papers are almost faring the same as the parchments of Ancient Egypt. And I don’t think those are doing very well. Their atoms are probably somewhere in the cake I ate this morning. It is a sad fact, but everything decomposes because entropy is always increasing, no matter how much you try to preserve something, someday it’s going to fall apart. Which is sad. Because whenever I think of Newton’s original books and notebooks falling apart I feel like falling apart myself *wipes tear*

2. Nazis and/or Fire in General

This is SO obvious it might be written in invisible ink over every block of my neighbor’s house, but Nazis who BURN BOOKS *intense shuddering* I’m not even gonna start on how much that plagues my nightmares. Heck, fire in general is to avoid at all costs. Campfire, cooking fire in the kitchen.

3. Water, rain, milk, tea, coffee, tears and any liquid ever.

This is basically me when I accidentally wet my book
This is basically me when I accidentally wet my book.

Again, this is obvious, but REALLY needs to be stated. whatEVER happens, you gotta keep your book away from these liquids. Especially coffee or tea. It breaks the shards kept together by duct-tape that make up my heart to see water stains and coffee damage on books. It makes that ugly brown amoeba-shaped stain that seeps through several pages, getting smaller and smaller with every page and UGHHHHH *shudder*

4. Bread Crumbs or Sand.

Just imagine with me. Here you are, innocently taking a bite of bread, when Small Bread Crumbs(TM), wedging in-between pages. You brush some out, and some remain. The more you try to get them out the deeper they’re stuck. So you can do nothing but keep it on your conscience that they will stay there. ForEVER. *shudder again* It’s annoying, horrible, unspeakable. RIP, neatness.

5. Bad Ink

I’ve had this happen only once or twice maybe. It was with my copy of Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky. I like to hold the book with one hand, with my thumb in-between pages or holding both book sides with both hands, so friction is utterly unavoidable. And the ink freaking SMUDGES. It just makes me wanna curl up on the floor and bathe in my tears to cleanse my sorrows and wash away my despair.

6. Gravity

Yup, it’s not gravy, it’s gravity. You’ve read right. How can you help it when you accidentally drop your book and OF COURSE it lands in just the right way to fold dozens of papers or the cover in the wrong way. And this damage never really goes away. Unless you have a magical solution, in which case, you’ll need to give me your number so I can register it as ‘Bookish SOS’.

7. Light and Dust

Light definitely damages books. And dust does it faster. I’ve noticed some books on my shelf get yellow only from the top because dust settles there. I have no idea how it makes them yellow but I’ve learned my lesson and will try to dust them off often enough. Light though, I can’t help that.


Ever leant someone that doesn’t read very often a book ? Ever did that multiple times ? You probably came across this problem. Borrowers are a huge problem on books. Some dog-ear, annotate without permission, accidentally but due to carelessness damage books, and even throw away the dust jacket just because it annoyed them. I KNOW. I’ve heard all the stories *hides in a wardrobe and hopes for a door to Narnia *

9. Spiders

Let’s shudder together on this one. On 3 ! 1…2…3 ! *collective shudder* spiders LOVE nooks and crannies. And bookshelves don’t lack that. So take your books out to air, kids, or Big Bad Spider will make a home of them.

10. Actual Literal Bookworms

I hate these the MOST. I hope they never find my books a nice place to nest and conceive *sharp guttural scream* If I ever find one a mile away from my books, I’ll move my entire library to a fridge. Because apparently cold is deadly to them, no kidding.

That’s enough nightmares and shuddering for today, folks. Did any unfortunate accidents happen to you with these elements ? Is there any other deadly foe I’ve missed ?

10 thoughts on “A Book Nerd’s Nightmares // The 10 Deadly Foes of Books

Add yours

  1. I’ve been reading some articles about the publishing industry, and apparently print books have come back to do better than people had been predicting, and what’s really selling are very nice editions of books–not cheap mass market paperbacks. I hope this means that, in addition to design, publishers are also thinking about using better paper and ink. I know I’ve seen some books that say they’re printed on archival-quality paper.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. *shudders* Omg these are bad. People, in particularly, are pure monsters sometimes…AND LIKE HUMIDITY. The amount of times humidity has curled my precious covers. *cries* I also find mould is horrible?! Like the other day I took a dust jacket off a book for a photo and…it was mouldy?? I’m still in shock and drinking calming tea to pull myself together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait, books can get mouldy ? *crisis* *obsessively inspects everybook* I have a copy of The Scorch Trials that got terribly curly because of humidity some 3 years ago and it’s still not straight enough even though it’s been pressed on my shelves , like, enough to turn carbon to diamond πŸ˜‚


  3. Tip for crumbs: the best way to get them out is to properly open a book (fold both sides of the cover and turn and flatten the pages from the outside in to avoid breaking the spine) and blow them out.

    Liked by 1 person

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