Where does the average twelve-year-old kid ask to go during summer vacation? I don’t mean the big events, say, going to an amusement park or the county fair. On a typical summer day, where would a kid want to go? The swimming pool? The park? How about the library? That was me. I was the kid that wanted to hang out at the library. But why?
The library was a lovely place. Aisle after aisle of beautiful books – what’s not to like? At my little local library, there was a tiny table with one chair that was hidden around a corner out of sight of most of the other patrons. I loved roaming the aisles and finding an intriguing tome, and then dashing to the tiny table before someone else got it. It was cool and quiet inside. It was a haven. My mother would drop me off for a couple of hours at a time, and I loved it.
How I miss the innocence of youth! I did not give a passing thought to the germs on books in those days. Every book I held in my hands felt like a treasure. Of course, as I grew older and the OCD kicked in, I became ever more wary of these borrowed volumes. I visited the library less and less until I eventually could not remember the last trip I had made there. I missed it, but gradually that lessened with time.
Yet, here it is afresh. I am dismayed and outraged at once. As a child, not only could I not conceive of the idea that the books were dirty, I could never have imagined the degree of the filth that they carried. I recently came across an article revealing a new problem concerning library books. It seems they are a favorite hideout of bedbugs. What does that mean? People read them in their nasty beds! I had always pictured people in their easy chairs in front of the fireplace enjoying their treasure from the library. But apparently their reading place of choice is the bed. And look what has happened because of it. If you need proof, let me be of assistance. Here is the link to this horror story. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/garden/bedbugs-hitch-a-ride-on-library-books.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
I do not take this lightly. I do not like to travel because of bedbugs (and airport pat-downs), and I haven’t been to a movie in two years because of the bedbug scare. The last time I went to see a movie, I sat on the edge of the seat the entire time (not easy in a reclining chair), I was uncomfortable and paranoid the whole way home, and I had to throw the clothes I was wearing directly into the washing machine the moment I walked through the door. That’s a lot of effort just for a movie.
Contrary to my childhood belief, bedbugs are not the fictional characters of bedtime rhymes. I don’t know what’s worse, the bedbugs or the bed germs, but much to my chagrin, I have been to the library for the last time.