Are you careful with the spines? Or do you crack your books open to make them lay flat?
I'm fairly careful with the spines. I will bend my paperbacks as far as I can to open the pages, but I'll instantly regret it if I hear them crack. There are a few of my read-and-re-read paperbacks that have no spines left to them at all, and are just a sheaf of paper, really...
Do you use bookmarks? Or do you dog-ear the corners? If you do use bookmarks, do you use those fashionable metal ones? Or paper?
I do use bookmarks occasionally, either a paper one that came with it, or if it came from a shop that doesn't throw them in, any piece of paper, like the cash receipt, or an envelope, will do. But if I have neither bookmark nor scrap of paper handy, I'll memorise the page number. My mum taught me to respect books, and so I regard dog-earing the corners as sacrilege.
Do you write in your books? Ever? If you do, do you make small marks, or write in as much blank space as you can find? Pen or pencil? Highlighter? Your name on the front page?
I do not, as a rule, write in my books -- again, I would view that as a sacrilegious act. I would take notes on a separate piece of paper and insert those into my study books (but then of course, my study books being mostly limited specialist editions on art, architecture and archaeology were far too expensive in their purchase to even think of besmirching them with ink or pencil; in my time as a student, I've often had to choose between buying a book or buying food, and I usually bought the book).
However, I do make an exception for the kind of books that I can never resist buying, that claim to have the answer to ancient mysteries, that the authors claim should be taken as complete scientific research and absolute truth, and then the logic falls apart in the first few pages. Their assumptions and hypotheses are wrong, they go off on a tangent to prove their pre-conceived point, they haven't taken note of the latest research in the field they're discussing, and will only admit that evidence to suit their purpose. It gets my goat and I often can't resist of scribbling 'No, no, no!' in the margin, or striking through whole sections.
Do you toss your books on the floor? Into book bags? Or do you treat them tenderly, with respect?
Yes, I do toss them on the floor, into (book) bags, coat pockets or onto coffee tables. I don't see that as lacking in respect in any way.
Do you ever lay your book face-down, to save your place?
Paperbacks, yes. Hardcover, hardly ever. But only if I intend to return to my reading within a few minutes.
Um--water? Do you bathe with your books? Hold them with wet hands? Read out in the rain? Anything of that sort?
I shower, habitually (I haven't got the patience for baths). I've never yet brought a book in there with me. I have sat outside reading a book when it would start to drizzle, when I would insist on finishing my sentence or paragraph or page before closing it and finding a dry spot to continue my reading elsewhere. Quite often though, I will bathe my books in my tears, because what I'm reading so moves me that I can't stop the tears from falling onto the pages.
Are your books lined up on a bookshelf? Or crammed in any which way? Stacked on the floor?
Actually, all three of those options. I have limited space in my bookcases, or rather, my book collection has grown exponentially whereas my bookcases have not.
Do you make a distinction--as regards book care--between hardcovers and paperbacks?
Not really. I prefer paperbacks because they're easier to carry around with me, but I try to treat them with the same respect as my more cumbersome hardcovers.