Gibberations by Kiffin Gish...
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Monday / July 15th / 2002
Library books...

Now that we are preparing for the upcoming trip to America, we need to gather all kinds of reading material to keep us occupied during the long flight to California. My family is sensible and thrifty in that they go to the local library to check out a pile of books to take with them. This is normal behavior. However, I am the oddball because I have this strong aversion to library books for some strange reason. I cannot stand the idea that someone else has already perused through the same pages with their grubby fingers which have been who knows where. Or that the very pages I am touching have been breathed and/or sneezed on, had food particles dropped on them, household pets sniffing them, etc. Just thinking about it disturbs me immensely. A book which is slightly yellow feels to me like it has been urinated on. I can only deal with the fresh new smell of recently purchased books that have never seen the light of day and are completely sterile and hygienic. This makes it a more expensive habit for me because the only books I read are brand-new, either purchased at a dependable bookstore or ordered via Amazon. Cracking the pages open for the very first time, feeling the newness oozing out and inhaling the perfume of virgin pages is what turns me on. Not a crease to be found, not a single unwanted mark, and me the reader exploring this wealth of whiteness all my own for the very first time.

~ Posted at 08:05 PM | Health and happiness
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So far there are 7 comments.

I always like new books. I feel like the author deserves the little amount of money they get from the sale to me.

I've never liked how used books feel. Older books' paper changes, or maybe it was just different in older books, and it's usually kind of rough and (like you say) yellow. And the books usually have wear and tear. I like to know that the wear and tear imparted upon a book is from me.

- Posted by Tom at July 15, 2002 10:05 PM

Not really related to new/old books but I always buy new books when travelling (and never take library books) because I HATE bringing them back with me! I like to travel as lightly as possible and lugging a already read book back with me seems silly. A lot of hotels/hostels/friends houses have little libraries and I leave them so that other people can enjoy them :)

- Posted by Marc at July 15, 2002 11:54 PM

The more I think about the way that I react to a new book, the more I think that it sounds a little perverse. The first thing I do is feel the cover; which is even better if it is hardback with a protector on it, because I can feel it two different ways. Then I slide my finger across the edge of the closed pages. There is just something about that tightly packed arrangement of brand new leafs. Then I slowly crack it open, and I mean crack. I love to listen to the new book open. Then I feel the pages with my hands and test drive the turning of the pages. I love new books. I hope not too much!

- Posted by Stu D. at July 15, 2002 11:54 PM

I cannot for the life of me imagine throwing away perfectly normal books just because of the extra weight! Poor books. This seems sacrilegious to me, but I am a stickler when it comes to saving every single book I have read, or most other items of personal interest that is.

- Posted by Kiffin at July 16, 2002 06:37 PM

I don't throw them away per se - I leave them for the enjoyment of others. In my mind it is a random, anonymous and selfless action.

- Posted by Marc at July 16, 2002 09:39 PM

I *must* buy books...I can't remember the last time I went to a library to check out a book. I *always* keep my books because I'm sure if I enjoyed it I'll read it again and again (Like Coupland's "Life After God"). :-) Buy away!

- Posted by Bekah at July 18, 2002 12:30 AM

Buy away? You must be pretty rich then Bek!

- Posted by Kiffin at July 18, 2002 09:37 AM

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