January 16, 2015 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog
As much as I LOVE to read, I admit that sometimes (lots of time really) library books weird me out. And the sticker below sums up my sentiments perfectly:
SO MANY people check out library books and bring them into their homes. And all those people carry those books home in their HANDS! Are those hands dirty or clean?!
I fully admit that I’m weird and I have issues. I’m working on it. But really, we’d all be so much better off if everyone washed their hands before doing IMPORTANT things like touching, handling, and reading books!
Beyond the obvious mystery stains (ugh!) that unfortunately pepper the pages of some library books, it’s all the invisible stuff that weirds me out — sneezes and coughs trapped between the pages, funky odors, and wondering if there are traces of bathroom business on the pages because someone FAILED to wash his/her hands after using the loo.
I do have a bit of normal inside me and there have been occasions where I have been nearly normal and enjoyed reading a proper library book. Case in point my epic re-read of Charley (also published as The Girl Who Ran Away). But truth be told, I do have a hard time cozying up at length with a library book. I mostly borrow children’s picture books, and sometimes cookbooks, from the library.
I used to wipe down (with Lysol of course) the exteriors of library books before I read them — you’d be amazed at what comes off on the paper towel. But again, there is no safe way to cleanse the library book pages of visible and invisible goo! Much to my surprise, I’ve discontinued sanitizing the book exteriors. Instead, I have one dedicated spot where I read library books — our kitchen island. Upon finishing, the library book goes promptly back into the library bag (a silly form of quarantine I suppose!), I wash my hands, I spray and wipe down the counter, and I wash my hands again. Weird. I know.
So tell me, what are your WEIRD feelings and habits when it comes to library books?
As a side note, borrowed library e-books are ALWAYS clean because they are intangible.