In For Writers, Overcome Obstacles

My entire belief system has been shaken.

Let me back up…

It all started several months ago. I was professing my love of the public library to my husband, saying something along the lines of…”If I had it my way, I’d go there every day and rent books by the armful.” Then, out of the pure kindness of my heart, I added, “If you want, I can rent some books for you too.”

And that’s when he replied with the four little words that shook me to my core: “Library books are dirty.”

In the grand scheme of life, I would classify myself a moderate germophobe. I’m grossed out by public door handles and restrooms, I flinch and move away when people cough or sneeze near me and I’ve seriously contemplated wearing a face mask on airplanes. I wash my hands before eating, after a handshake or whenever I’ve handled money. And I cringe when I see children putting their mouths on random things, like restaurant tables or, God forbid, the floor. But you won’t find me living in a bubble a la Howie Mandel.

But of all the things I consider germy, my beloved library books are certainly not among them.

Or at least they weren’t until our little discussion.

“Think about where people read them,” Dave said, defending his position. “The bathroom, the bedroom, on the couch while picking their noses.”

Though I defended the contrary – and do believe that there are many people who read library books in a completely civilized fashion – I realized there was a grain of truth to what he was saying.

Begrudingly, I did a little research on the subject and according to a Consumer Reports’ article there are 7 things that are dirtier than money…and library books is one of them. (Ever lick your finger to turn the page? Well don’t.)

So Dave’s right and library books have joined the ranks of pay phones and toilet seats. So where does this leave us? In the end we found a comprimise: he will rent books from the library and I will sanitize them with Lysol first. (Let’s just say I have a new found appreciation for those durable plastic covers!)

Anyone else out there skeeved out by library books?

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  • Jessica

    Oh no! I totally had never thought about this until I read this post….It makes total sense though. Yikes. I’ll never be able to give up my precious library books, so I’ll have to purell before and after reading.

    • Erika Liodice

      I know! I’ll never forgive my husband for ruining library books for me!!


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