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I Cut this Book in Half

Updated: Jan 19

Carrying around my copy of The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub was becoming kind of a chore, so I took a knife to the spine. I don't have a better reason than that it made the reading more convenient for me.

Some may think me a monster for this act, but I don't agree. This was a worn secondhand copy of a book that was likely going to fall apart on its own at some point. I merely accelerated the process with a razor.

Books are meant, in virtually every case, to be read. Perhaps for enjoyment, or enlightenment, or to be inspired by a pressing social issue. The information in a book is yours to harvest, and sometimes that means cracking open the bones and sucking the marrow. It's not always a pretty process. A worn book is a story of its own.

In my house we have a copy of Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy by Rex Ogle, a graphic novel retelling of Little Women. It has been read dozens of times, and it shows. The spine is cracked and the cover is torn. Its pages don't close all the way, like the kids have left a bit of themselves behind with each reading, stuck inside the folds. I love that book. I love seeing it on the coffee table, where it waits for the next kid to pick it up and leaf through it again. It has a history, and life unique to that particular copy.

I hope this year brings you amazing stories. I hope you find something that you want to take with you everywhere. And if you want to cut it in half, I hope you let yourself do it.

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