for the first time in a decade or more, i got a library book for myself to read. it's the auto biography of a very prominent political figure that i have been wanting to read for years...and i come to find out that it was actually written many years ago...longer than i have gone without checking out a book from the library.
as i am reading it, i make note of a slight stain, maybe a smudge from twinkie filling covered finger of a previous reader. (no, i didn't lick it to make a final determination.) but that stain got me thinking about the sanitary truth of the book that i was snuggled up with in my bed.
think about it. i mean, ANYONE could have read this book. from a doctor who saves lives everyday to a meth addict trying to fill some of their awake time. it has been snuggled with in other beds, on a couch under a warm blanket some winter morning...or...in someones bathroom while they poo'd. it was the visual of the latter that had me reaching for the hand sanitizer!
in school, middle school/high school...when we checked a book out from the library, our name was written on a slip of paper glued inside of the cover...and above it, often the names of the past students who checked it out before me. I would sometimes read (or not read) a book based upon the names on that list. was it someone who was wildly popular? or someone who maybe hadn't discovered the wonders of deodorant just yet? as i turned the page of my current library book, i was wishing i not only had the names of those who read this book before me but also a photograph of them, a full medical history from their doctor and a check of their criminal past.
maybe i should just order it at a discount from amazon in the future, where the book only has my twinkie filling smudges in it...and the book has only been in my bathroom, my bed, my couch on winter mornings. there is pride in ownership...and i think the library can keep it's dirty books.