My son is nearing 2½ years, and he's got a big stack of picture books. He loves to turn the pages but doesn't take any care in doing so. That means the books are often torn and the spine bent so far back on itself that it breaks. We've collected some very sturdy cardboard books, some with a spiral back, but nothing lasts forever.
How can I help him understand how a book is meant to be treated?
I respect that he needs to play with objects on his own terms and not according to the rules of the grown-ups. It's okay that some books are going to die in the process. But at some point he has to submit to the universal concept of what a book is and how it is actually meant to be used.
He has learned to identify which way is up, and from which end to start, and I guess he picked that up from when we "read" the books together. We must have provided some guidance there, more or less deliberately. It's that kind of further deliberate guidance I'm looking for.
(Note that I'm not addressing learning to read.)