November 28, 2007

Don't touch my...

One thing I am quite fussy about is my books.

I have seen many people folding the pages of their books to remind them of the page they were on. Then there are some- a lot, actually- who lick their finger to wet it with their saliva, in order to turn the page of a book. Some books, especially textbooks, get underlined and highlighted a lot. And there are so many other ways in which the poor books get mutilated and tortured.

Not my books.

Most of my books are still in the condition in which I bought them. This is one reason I avoid bringing people into my room. The first thing they notice are the books.

Have you actually read all of them?”

“Yes,” I say loudly. “…And many more that people borrowed and never returned,” I say to myself.

“Wow, you must have a lot of free time …” the voice trails off, and the legs of the speaker propel his or her body towards the bookcases.

Not one to let anyone come near my books easily, I intercept, and try to change the topic, “Hey, did you notice my new speakers?”

A glance at the speakers, but the move towards the bookcase continues unabated.

"Do you have any book that could get me interested in reading?”

I pretend not to have heard. Still talking about the speakers, “I think I bought them a little expensive, but they are good.”

By this time, the visitor is standing right next to the bookcases. I hope that this is one of those who are satisfied with just looking. I get to the bookcases and give him a quick overview of all the books, and explain my booking system, “This is the science section, this is non- fiction, and this is fiction…”

A hand stretches forward and opens up one of the cases. I want to bite that hand and make it draw back, but, alas, we live in a civil society. A book is drawn out, and that dreaded finger goes to the mouth and the pages are turned.

"Now, that book is not going back.” I think to myself.

“Oh, it is interesting you picked this book, and I think you will love it,” I say, “ but I don’t lend it.”

I add that last part, just to make the forbidden fruit more desirable.

“I know you don’t, but you can make an exception for me.”

"What makes you so special?” I think to myself.

"If you insist…” I say, and put on an expression of helplessness.

The visitor then quickly leaves the room, lest I change my mind. I lose the battle, but win the war. And to end a friendly advice: If you ever come visiting, don’t touch my books, because one day I might bite the hand that touches my books.


Jess said...

I'm with you on this one... I can't stand for someone to turn down the corner of a page... That's what bookmarks are for. And the spit... Well, that's just gross. Biting is a little extreme, so, you might want to think about getting one of those electric shock things. I think it would work much better, and you wouldn't have to put their skin in your mouth. ;)

absent.canadian said...

I thought I was the only one who was so anal about books. But I'm a little more ruthless about it - I just tell people that I was raised "never a borrower nor a lender be".

Sandy Carlson said...

I hear you. I never loan a book to a friend without making up my mind I'll never see it again. I usually don't!

You do a great job of being subtle!

Paulie said...

What a great post! I understand completely. Unfortunately, having been an elementary teacher, my books are well abused. :o(

Michelle said...

I can ask my husband to get rid of some of his junk when he starts accumulating too much stuff, but his books are sacred and strictly off-limits. His bookshelves fill every wall of his office (and other rooms). I gotta respect that though. It's his thing.

Invisible Blogger said...

I'm not really like this about books. But I did get a chuckle or two from it. I'm an avid turned pages or spittle... but not much of a collector. I figure I'll never read it AGAIN sooooo off to Freecycle they go... or the "buy, sell, trade" book store.

Except my study books and, sorry, but the answers are highlighted and comments written down the sides of the paragraphs for ease during study groups :-)

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