Friday, June 10, 2011

How To Throw A Book Without Damaging It

If you're reading this post on my blog either: a) you've broken into my account or b) I'm really hard-pressed for something to talk about. I know in the past I've gone so far as to talk about current-but-slightly-out-of-date events, but while everybody else may be content to chew those until they're cud, I'd prefer to pass.

Now, normally when I title a blog entry, the title is indirectly related to the body, but rarely is it exactly what you'd expect (or so I assume, since so few of my readers bother to comment, even anonymously). This one is going to be different.

How To Throw A Book Without Damaging It

First, it takes practice. It also takes the willingness to deal with the consequences (if any) of damaging the book if you do happen to do so. Since this is more an art than a science, such things happen.

Second, you need to remember that this is nothing like Dropping Books From Soaring Heights Without Damaging Them, which has mostly different rules, and is far closer to science and further from art than this is.

I find a good spin helps. If you have a heavy sort of bookmark, you'll probably lose your page. Best stick with small scraps of paper. Give it a nice sharp backspin and send it on its way.

I usually aim for something other than the floor if I can help it, even knowing it will end up on the floor, most likely. The backspin will encourage the book to bounce, as well as to lose most of its speed on the first bounce. If you ever watch tennis matches with backspin masters, you'll see a ball that hits with a lot of speed and momentum, but slows down unexpectedly after it hits the ground once (this effect is easier to notice if you're playing against someone with tremendous backspin instead of just watching from the sidelines).

Aiming for something other than the floor allows the book to fall and hit the floor at a greatly reduced speed (thanks to the backspin) that minimizes damage. The book may suffer some initial bending from the intial impact against whatever you throw it at, but since it doesn't stay in that position very long, the bend has minimal lasting damaging.

Presumably, the book will be staying where it falls on the floor for a bit, because if you had time to pick it up right away, you might as well have carried it over and set it down gently. A book that stays in its position with a bent page is more likely to keep that bend, and the likeliness increases with the duration until the bend becomes a crease. Creases don't come out.

With this guide and a decent set of books that already have enough creases in them that another won't look out of place, you too can become a master (or close enough) at Throwing A Book Without Damaging It.

I look forward to hearing about your progress, padewans.