Friday 1 February 2013

Snot on the Page

I've mentioned before that I love to read and nothing has changed since the last time that I said it. I used to read books that required you to think while you were reading and sometimes I would have to stop reading so that the information would sink in. Sometimes it did, but more often than not it would rattle around inside my head for a few years, get all muddled up and then come out as my own. It isn't stealing or plagiarism if you can’t remember where it came from.

I used to buy a lot of books as well and still have most of them on different shelves and in boxes throughout the house. There are a few that I will get out from time to time and either search for a quote or re-read just for the joy of it. I think I have read the “Lord Of The Rings” every two years since I was twenty, and “Time Enough for Love” by Heinlein about the same. There are other books that are in regular rotation, but most of them just sit on shelves waiting for someone to dust them. It is a shame really, and they certainly deserve better, considering the joy they have given me over the years.

Maybe it is the guilt I feel for those lonely books that sends me to the library for new reads now, and in recent years to the digital version of books that I can download and store on my eReader, instead of a dusty old shelf. I still want to have the hard copy, but frankly I am running out of space and money. I am comfortable with the path my reading is on and I foresee no change in the near future.

I am reading a book that I got out of the library right now. It is a good book, not a great book, but it meets my criteria of being entertaining and satisfying. The only problem with getting books from the library is that other people have read that particular copy before you more often than not. Sometimes it is a lot of people that have read the book before you get your hands on it. This book has been read before, and none too gently. The first fifty pages are rippled with water stains. That’s not really a problem if you think it is caused by water or some clear juice, but if you start to think it is urine, then you kind of have a problem. I swear to you that I could smell urine when I picked up the book. It is more than likely in my mind, because who would piss on a book? Well, who would piss on this book? I have actually pissed on a book, but it wasn’t a library book and the book deserved it. I had trouble getting through the first fifty pages as you can imagine.

Library books have other problems too. Sometimes you will turn a page and see what would appear to be crumbs caught in the fold. I could probably get them out, but it is easier to read the two pages and be done with the problem. There are often stains which could be blood, but then why would someone keep reading if they were bleeding? Too often I will turn the page of a library book and there will be someone’s hair caught in the crease. How pleasant! I am grossing myself out, so let us just say that I now have issues with taking out library books.

This is one good reason for me to switch over to digital books completely, because if there is a hair, blood or someone’s snot on the page, it is because the author and the publisher put it there to further the plot line.

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