How To Open A Book

I find this little notice often. It must have been printed and distributed far and wide:


How to Open a Book

Hold the book with its back on a smooth or covered table; let the front board down, then the other, holding the leaves in one hand while you open a few leaves at the back, then a few at the front, and so on, alternately opening back and front, gently pressing open the sections till you reach the center of the volume. Do this two or three times and you will obtain the best results. Open the volume violently or carelessly in any one place and you will likely break the back and cause a start in the leaves. Never force the back of a book.

"A connoisseur many years ago, an excellent customer of mine, who thought he knew perfectly how to handle books, came into my office when I had an expensive binding just brought from the bindery ready to be sent home; he, before my eyes, took hold of the volume and tightly holding the leaves in each hand, instead of allowing them free play, violently opened it in the center and exclaimed: 'How beautifully your bindings open!' I almost fainted. He had broken the back of the volume and it had to be rebound." 

Found in "Life Under The Stuarts" published by Falcon Books, 1950.

-Click to enlarge photos-


  1. How funny...but it IS good advice nonetheless. ^-^

  2. When I was in elementary school, at the beginning of each year we had a lesson just like this when we got our new schoolbooks. I still open my new books this way.

  3. I, too, was taught in elementary school to open new books this way. But, alas, I don't always remember to do this with my new books now, even though it is a good practice.