I’ve found a disturbing trend in library books over the last couple of years: more and more crusty stuff inside. Boogers, spilled drinks & food, unidentified raised, crusty gunk. 😖 And I’m not talking about the children’s book. Finding bodily fluids & ripped pages in children’s books are a given. Although parents should at least tape pages back together, for goodness sake.
I’m talking about adult books. Came across this stain in Playing for Pizza by John Grisham, one of my favorite authors. Yes, it’s dry, but it’s also raised! Can you see that?! Someone spilled a liquid thick enough to dry in 3-D and didn’t even bother to wipe off the excess. In fact, this goop bled through 8 pages before it and 4 pages after it.
When engrossed in a good book, I’ve been know to walk around, go to the bathroom and, yes, even eat while reading. And I’ve spilled my share of food and drink on library books, as well.
However, I mop them up immediately. I even get a fresh, wet towel to remove any residue. After removing as much goop as I can without removing the page itself, I prop the book up, open, and use other things to isolate the now wet page so it dries and does not affect any other pages.
And I bet most people would do the same thing if they had borrowed that book from a friend. But they don’t when they borrow it from the library. They don’t show the same respect and courtesy to a stranger who lives in the same vicinity as them and shares the same passions of reading and that particular author or genre.
They’re probably the same people who return scratched and inoperable DVDs and video game to the library without saying a word to the librarian. We don’t invest money in video games often so B loves to check out the games, all the other kids own, from the library. Imagine his disappointment when half of them don’t even work.
I’m not accusing anyone of damaging a DVD nor game disk. However, I am expecting you to have some courtesy, and instead of dropping that case with a broken disk in to the return slot inside the library, walk an additional 5-15 feet to a librarian and let them know it’s broken. They are so grateful to us when we do that! They don’t want broken items circulating and disappointing those they serve. They want to remove broken items and replace them with working ones.
You know, I used to pick off and clean up goop left on books by other borrowers, but not anymore. All 3 of us have food allergies and I don’t know what’s in that food. What if the person whose nose dripped on the page was sick when it happened? Uh-uh, we all need to clean up our own messes. Just think how disgusted you’d be if you turned the page and saw THIS.
“Do unto others as you’d have done to you.” Please.