Ah, that makes horrifying sense now. I could never rip a cover, I get annoyed if I crease the spine. Running out of physical space for books means this isn't an issue anymore though. Although if I dropped my Kindle I suspect my language would be foul.@Luiglin
I'm known for ripping the covers off books to use as a bookmark. This obviously explains the condition of the book in your story.
If you're careful you can get four or five bookmarks from the covers before you have to use the dedication and title pages etc.
It has the advantage that future readers will not be biased by the drivel often found on the back cover hinting at the contents of the story within.
P.S. I hope that parking spot was within five miles of your home.
I had hoped to set the encounter at the Thunderhead Brewery, Axtell, but the word count intervened. I liked the name - I know nothing of the beer.