The reader must preserve and care for their books, regardless if it is their possession or that of someone
else. They should do so in order to make sure the book has lasting benefit. A book that is preserved and is
in mint condition makes one delighted to read from it. Our scholars used to be keen on caring for their
books, for one of them said: “Do not make your book into a trumpet ora box,” meaning, do not continuously
twist it, making it look like a trumpet, and do not place things on it, making it like a box or a chest; both
these acts hasten the damage of the book. The keenness of the people of knowledge reached a point
wherein they even mentioned how to place the book when reading, and one of them said when advising
that books be cared for: “It should not be spread open, so that its binding does not break quickly, and it
should not be placed directly on the floor, but rather, on a piece of wood, so that it does not become damp.
If placed on a piece of wood, place some leather above and below the wood, or, between the book and the
floor, there should be some leather.”
In order to keep the book in good condition, one should avoid the conditions that make the book
susceptible to damage or tearing, such as:
• Placing the book upside down or leaving it open for long periods of time.
• Opening the book too vigorously, rubbing the book with one’s hand, or wetting the fingers too much with
saliva before changing the page.
• Placing the books on top of each other; they should actually be beside each other.
• Placing large books on top of small books; this leads to it falling and their covers coming off.
• Placing the book in a leaning way in the bookshelf; it should be placed in an upright position.
• Turning the pages over roughly, quickly, or angrily. One should not resort to violence or haphazardness in
opening pages that are stuck together as a result of a mistake in cutting in printing. Rather, one should use
a knife or an opener specifically designed for this purpose. The stuck pages should be opened at once, so
that the reader does not need to repeatedly stop reading.
• Letting the books rub against a solid or hard surface when moving them, such as wood or edges of metal.
• Using the book as a pillow, fan, compressor, support, something to recline on, bug killer, or table for food
or drinks. One of the wise men saw a man sitting on a book, and he said: “Glorified is Allaah!He protects
his clothes, but not his book; protecting the book is preferred overprotecting the clothes.” One should
protect the book from anything that falls on it, in terms of food or drinks, especially during travel, trips, and
reading at the dinner table.
• Folding the edge or margin of the book so that it is known that this is the place they stopped, for example.
Instead of this, one should place a marking that can be removed. The scholars used to write: “Reached
here,” to show the place they reached. One can place something soft that can show where they stopped,
such as a paper or thread, and should avoid using wood or anything coarse.
• Writing with rough pens, writing strongly on the paper, or writing with a pen that has a sharp point,
especially when correcting within the book, leads to tearing the pages of the book. It is unfortunate to see
what some people do to disfigure the look of the book from inside and outside, by adding large scribbles
and various drawings while reading.
• Negligence in using pens that have wet ink when writing on the book. One should avoid using materials
that leave dirt or marks on the hand, such as ink, because it transfers from the hand of the one using those
pens to the book when the book is held and rested on.
• Negligence of pages that have been torn in a haphazard fashion, and delaying mending it and fixing it
with tape. If it is not fixable, one can copy it and stick the copy where the original was.
• Twisting the book like a trumpet when holding it, or turning the book into a box wherein one places pens,
erasers, and so forth.
• Throwing the book or tossing it from a height; rather, one must place it by hand, so that it does not get
torn. This is a mistake that many students and teachers fall into, especially when passing books and
notebooks of students around.
• Placing the book or stacking them on the floor, directly, because that leaves it vulnerable to damage by
termites, moisture, mold, or other damaging elements. It is better to place it on a wooden stand, or an
insulated surface (that has no moisture). Or, one should place them on bookshelves or closets that are
clear. If you discover termites damaging them, immediately take them out, and use insecticides to treat the
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