I have a confession to make. I dogear pages. I leave books open, pages down on tables. Sometimes, I underline passages or make notes in the margins. I have read three paperbacks to death and had to replace them. These are heretical acts to most readers. Of course, I don't do any of the above to library books or books I've borrowed from others; I only torture my own books. Since I'm being confessional, I'll also add that I like the look of worn spines and furry cover corners. Books are meant to be read a loved. Books that sit, pristine and untouched, on the shelf make me feel a little sad.
The Scarlet Letter was so very wrong about so very much! If I ever find that student, I will slap them upside the head with my corrected copy.)
The downside is replacing books I've loved to death. It's hard to find a copy of some of them. I found a new copy of Tim Powers' Declare at a used bookstore in Salt Lake. I replaced my copy of Jurassic Park—which I've read at least fifteen times and which still bore stains from the orange I was eating the second time I read it—with a lovely new hardback from Barnes and Noble. I've gone through two copies of Good Omens in less than a decade. But you know what? When I buy new copies, I help keep them in print so that new readers can find them in the bookstores. That's more than worth the cost of a new paperback.
* Of course, if I lend you one of my books and you hurt it (more than I have), I will dogear you.