Woman earns backlash after revealing her controversial reading habits

Don’t take a leaf out of her book! Woman sparks a furious backlash after revealing her most ‘controversial’ book habits – from reading in the SHOWER and writing to-do lists on the covers to intentionally cracking the spines

  • TikTok user Esme shared a pair of viral videos about her ‘book habits that make others uncomfortable’
  • She intentionally cracks the spines of her books, annotates them with ink, folds a page in half to keep her place, and tears off corners to mark her favorite parts
  • She also takes notes on the end papers, throws away dust jackets, and writes to-do lists on the covers of hardbacks
  • Most shockingly, she reads books in the shower for a few minutes while leaving conditioner in her hair, getting the book wet and creating water damage
  • Commenters are horrified by her habits, saying it ‘feels illegal’ and urging her to ‘apologize’

A Canadian book lover has left TikTok users horrified and disturbed by some of her unconventional reading habits, which include intentionally cracking the spines of books, writing to-do lists on the covers, and even bringing tomes into the shower.

Esme, who lives in Ontario, shares a lot of book-related content on her social media channels — but her most recent videos have proven controversial.

The 21-year-old classics student has demonstrated her ‘book habits that make others uncomfortable’ — a description that turned out to be an understatement, as comments have poured in from distressed viewers who insist her videos ‘physically pain’ them.

Controversial: A Canadian book lover has left TikTok users horrified and disturbed by some of her unconventional reading habits

Broken: Esme intentionally cracks the spines of her books, folding the front cover around the back

Oh no! Most shockingly, she reads books in the shower for a few minutes while leaving conditioner in her hair, getting the book wet and creating water damage

‘Is this necessary? No,’ she admits. ‘But I’m not standing her for 45 minutes reading. Then I put the book outside the shower in order to wash myself and my hair’

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Esme clearly loves books — she has read 91 so far in 2021 — but she certainly isn’t precious about their physical condition 

She demonstrates how she uses open books that she’s reading as coasters, putting drinks like iced coffee on one page while she reads the other.

Naturally, when she lifts her glass off the page, it leaves behind a ring of liquid. 

She also intentionally cracks the spines of books — folding the front cover around the back — and folds down pages to keep her place.

When she finds a favorite part, she tears off a corner to mark it. 

‘I tear off the corners when I’m reading outside and I didn’t bring all of my [Post-it] tabs with me, so that I know where to go back to later to annotate. I do this instead of dog-earring because I find that dog ears come unfolded too easily,’ she explains. 

She also annotates her books with ink, underlining her favorite parts and adding notes sandwiched between the print. 

‘I annotate books because I like reviewing books. I do it on my Instagram. And it makes it easier to go back and review a book,’ she says. 


Tossed: She doesn’t keep dust jackets, easier, pulling them off and folding them for the trash when she things the cover is ‘prettier’ than the jacket

Jotting down: She takes notes on the end papers about things unrelated to the books themselves

Desecration: She also writes in her books with ink to annotate them


‘I annotate books because I like reviewing books. I do it on my Instagram. And it makes it easier to go back and review a book,’ she says 

Répondre à @nicolerapallo More Book Habits ¿¿ #bookhabits #booktok #bookpetpeeves #acotar #sixofcrows #fyp #foryoupage #booker #books #sarahjmaas

That’s not the only writing she does: In addition to taking notes on the end papers about things unrelated to the books themselves, she also writes to-do lists on the covers of hardbacks.

‘Reading is my main form of procrastination and if I put a to-do list on the front, I have to check everything off on the to-do list before I’m allowed to read the book. So it holds me accountable,’ she says.

She doesn’t keep dust jackets, easier, pulling them off and folding them for the trash when she things the cover is ‘prettier’ than the jacket. 

But most shockingly, Esme likes to read in the shower, holding her book with wet hands and allowing resulting water damage.

Esme explains that she’ll read for three to five minutes while the conditioner is sitting in her hair, and notes that she can’t simply listen to audiobooks because she is deaf.

‘Is this necessary? No,’ she admits. ‘But I’m not standing her for 45 minutes reading. Then I put the book outside the shower in order to wash myself and my hair.’


 Destruction: She tears off corners of her favorite parts and folds pages to save her spot

 ‘Reading is my main form of procrastination and if I put a to-do list on the front, I have to check everything off on the to-do list before I’m allowed to read the book,’ she says

Whatever’s handy: Writing a to-do list ‘holds me accountable,’ she says

Stained: She demonstrates how she uses open books that she’s reading as coasters, putting drinks like iced coffee on one page while she reads the other

The videos have gone viral, with one being viewed 2.6 million times — but many of her commenters are aghast at how she treats her books. 

‘For my sake, never touch another book again,’ warned one, while another said she ‘screamed when the book spine cracked as if it was my own spine.’

‘This is something that feels illegal but isn’t technically illegal,’ wrote yet another.

Some said she should ‘apologize’ and go to the wizarding prison Azkaban, with one complaining, ‘Part of me just died.’

‘In France we cut the head of our king for less than that,’ wrote one more, while one book lover called Esme her ‘archnemesis.’ 

‘I gasped when you folded the dust jacket and forgot how to breathe when you did the to do list,’ one more commented. 

‘My therapist knows absolutely everything about ur account,’ another complained. 

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