Wednesday, December 12, 2012

As If You Didn't Have Enough to Worry About ...


From my friend Katherine comes this New York Times story: A Dark and Itchy Night. If you enjoy reading in bed, you may want to just stop here and come back tomorrow.

It seems that there is a new twist to the proliferation of bedbugs, those nasty little critters that were once thought to be limited to sleazy, skid row hotels and inns in remote parts of the world. Bedbugs are now finding a new home in the bindings of books that people read in bed ... and when those books are borrowed from the local library, they go home with the next person to check out the book ... and when they read in bed, well, you can guess the rest.

AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

As do many of you, Dear Readers, I love to read. But books are expensive, and so I buy far fewer of them than I used to ... generally, only the nonfiction titles that I'm likely to want in my collection to read multiple times or to use for research. Most fiction titles, other than those of my most favorite authors, I usually check out of the local library. And I occasionally enjoy reading a sentence or two in bed before the old Sandman dumps on me.

And now I find that my beloved library books can bring BEDBUGS!!??


Oy.

The article describes the processes that today's librarians must use to check incoming books for the presence of bedbugs, and the technologies they must use to kill off the hitchhiking little nasties, such as the PackTite Portable Bedbug Heater (on sale for $305), the Thermal Strike Expedition Heat Treatment Box (on sale for $179), or keeping infested books in a freezer for a week at -18 degrees Farenheit*.

At a time when libraries are suffering from budget cutbacks that limit book purchases and slash hours of operation, it's a shame that limited funds have to be spent to eliminate - of all stupid things - bedbugs. We like to encourage bookworms, but bedbugs ... not so much.

So ...

The next time you check out a book from the local library, check the binding for the presence of bedbugs. Or consider checking out e-books, if your library offers that service.

Of course, the next thing will probably be viruses that infest your e-reader, but what can you do?

Have a good day. Enjoy a new library book the next time you get an ... uh ... itch to read. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

* The last one leaves me a bit cold.

5 comments:

Amanda said...

Aaron is asleep in his bed right now with two or three library books!!!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I don't read in bed, but I don't want bedbugs in my apartment!

Stas Buttler said...

Damn man. The bedbugs in your book gave me shivers. Disgusting!

Mike said...

I saw a bit on TV where a library closed and sealed the place up. Then they froze the entire building.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Bedbugs in books is one more thing to worry about that we don't have to with e-readers.