Something happened between middle school and high school. Sure, sure puberty and all that. But something else, something far more mysterious: I started to be creeped out by libraries.

I’m not opposed to the idea of the library – it’s nice that people can have access to books without having to spend money to obtain that access. I don’t begrudge peeps from checking out all the library books they want. I just really don’t want to have much to do with it. Today, however, I got my very first library card in at least fifteen years. And I am still just as grossed out as ever by the whole thing.

Why do I have a problem with reading “used” books? This makes me feel like 1) a germaphobe (which I am NOT) or 2) a snob (which I probably am). In chatting with Dear Friend about my library book phobia, my  main word choice was “gross.” I explained that I don’t like touching books other people have touched, unless I know the other people. She asked me what I thought was living on these books. My response: “gross things.” She replied by saying that most “germs” have died by the time I get my hands on it. To which I replied, “gross. dead germs.” This is logical to me, but only made Dear Friend laugh at my absurdity. Reasonably, she questioned my motive in getting a library card to begin with. Honestly, I felt I had no choice. As I have literally $0 to allocate to book purchases and the book is a recommendation of my father’s called Financial Peace (Dave Ramsey), I figured it would show a little maturity to do the library thing.

Gross.

It took me awhile to find the book in question because I’m just not used to the Dewey Decimal System. I find it absurd that non-fiction books are categorized by subject and then by author but the subjects aren’t labeled on the shelves! Take a note from ANY bookstore, libraries! Luckily “Finance” wasn’t a difficult subject to locate on my own (once I found the astoundingly large “Faith” section) but come on. How hard is it to print and laminate a sheet of paper that has a list of categories on it, cut it up, and tape it to the shelves? I don’t feel like waiting in line for use of a computer just to check where in this place a book might be. Make it easier, please (and not just for me, a rather erratic library user – for everyone else!)!

But mostly I feel like I need to go buy a box of medical gloves before I read this newly checked out book. I don’t like the plastic covering. I don’t like greasy fingerprints. I don’t like unrecognizable stains on the pages. I don’t like being distracted from the reading experience by anything, and most definitely not by my fingers sticking to the cover. Ick.

In the end, I’m willing to do it to save a buck. But I think the world would benefit from some sort of book cleaning dip or something. Like dry cleaning! Or something! Other than sticky book covers! Please!

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