Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in
pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers
bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?
I used to bend the corners of pages to make my place, but I have gotten myself out of that habit, however I do leave them open face down. The spines do get broken, and occasionally pages have a gorgeous quote underlined or starred. I tend to only write notes around poetry.
I believe books are there to be enjoyed, they are not items in a museum. I used to know a guy who barely opened the book to read it as he wanted it to look pristine when he had finished with it, he always looked uncomfortable as he read.
As most of the books I read are second hand, or come from bookcrossing, they have already been read so its not a problem what condition they arrive in.
What makes me annoyed is when the kids at school bend the cover all the way around, its not their book and is just likely to make it break or pages fall out so other people can't enjoy it in the future. And when they write rude words or pictures in it - then they know they are in trouble!
P.S I have a challenge running till Dec 09 based on the BTT question from a couple of weeks ago, about books that have been sitting on your shelf for ages waiting to be read. Thr Rescue Challenge is to save those poor books from being ignored any longer, details can be found here