March 9 11

Isabella has gone up two more levels in reading. Hearing news like that makes me tear up a bit. I wish there was a way to say that without seeming all neener, neener, my kid is better than your kid. You have to know this is exactly the opposite of my intent here. I was worried about her. I was worried that she wouldn’t be a reader. And some kids just aren’t. But I just never imagined I’d be the mother of a non-reader. My mother and I suffer from the same disease…the inability to pass a bookstore without spending at least $100 $200 on lovely-looking and lovely-smelling new books to curl up on the couch with and get lost in.

Only now there is something of a restraining order in place. I am not allowed within three feet of an establishment that sells books of any kind, lest I bankrupt our family.

Let me tell you how much fun this is at the airport.

While I know you are going to pull the old LIBRARY card on me, I will tell you that I have issues with library books. All I think about while I am holding the library book in my hand is what is that mystery smear and HOW MANY BATHROOMS HAS THIS BOOK BEEN IN? The commode is one of the most popular places to read. You know, while a peson’s nether bits are exposed. All I can possibly think about are all of the orifices that may have germified this very edition. S

My mom has a room in her house that looks like this, only, obviously, with slightly fewer Beasts in oversized blue blazers and puffy shirts roaming about.

Each time I visit, I spend hours thumbing my way through the books, deciding how many books I can borrow steal before my suitcases are over the allotted fifty pounds. I work the math out in my head, but once I realize that I average about a book a week (Recently loved: The Weight of Silence, The Heretic’s Daughter, Half Broke Horses. Recently completely and totally underwhelmed by: Olive Kitteridge), I know I am completely screwed. BUT, here’s the thing. My mother is planning to downsize. Yes she is. Right now she and the mayor live in a giant house that they totally don’t need. They live on a giant lake that they totally don’t use. They live in a house with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves of bookshelves they totally don’t need.

I am already plotting my pillaging.

Anyone have a spare U-Haul?

Or any books I can borrow that haven’t been anywhere near your ass?

  1. My husband borrows books from people and keeps them next to the toilet!!! I desperately want to warn these people! I wish I could get over my library issues because I want to take my girls there. I LOVED the library when I was little and would always max out my library card and read all 6 books within a day or two and drag my mom back. Then when I was 10 I found a used tissue stuck in a book…. GAG! the magic died… I don’t read nearly as much now(kindle makes it a little more affordable though)

    Comment by Maile on March 9, 2011
  2. Well, crap. I was just about to take my daughter to the library. But now……well, crap!

    Comment by Lisa on March 9, 2011
  3. I’ve never thought of a library book like that…and now I may never be able to get a library book again.

    Comment by AmazingGreis on March 9, 2011
  4. Totally agree! Love the books. Concerned about other nameless and faceless readers. Maybe bring an extra suitcase when you visit your mom (or bring a friend). Wink wink.

    Comment by Dana on March 9, 2011
  5. I’m with you on the book in the bathroom issue. I’m much more territorial with my books. If I have it in my possession, I want to own it. I don’t want to return it, whether it’s good or not. Also, I have never felt guilty for book purchases. That’s a dollar never wasted.

    Comment by kirida on March 10, 2011
  6. Correct me if I’m wrong but it’s mostly men who read on the crapper and they usually read non-fiction. So fiction and kid’s books are safe! (I know I’m using stereotypes but I like the library).

    My problem with the library is losing the kids books for awhile and getting huge overdue fines.

    I was also underwhelmed by Olive.

    Comment by Erin@MultipleMusings on March 10, 2011
  7. As a librarian this makes me very sad. Don’t they have a school library? I’ve been known to Lysol books. You can also stick them in a bag and then in the freezer to kill anything. For real.

    Comment by Tammi Marie on March 10, 2011
  8. Tammi – well, then, it should make you feel better to know that my kids are obsessed with their school libraries and take books out ALL THE TIME. They, unlike me, don’t care about germs.


    Comment by ali on March 10, 2011
  9. Yay!

    Comment by Tammi Marie on March 10, 2011
  10. My husband and I are also avid book buyers… it’s why we hardly ever go to bookstores anymore. We could go into Chapters “just to look around” and come out with $100 or more of books we hadn’t known we wanted.
    When we had the first kid, we realised that not only did we have to get rid of a bunch of books to make room for her stuff, but that we probably shouldn’t buy more. No more room, plus, it made more sense to spend that money on diapers.
    I’m going to try and erase the thought of the germy books from my mind because we’re at the library all the time. Crap.

    Comment by Jessica on March 10, 2011
  11. I could never pinpoint why I don’t like libraries. I loved the library when I was young. Now I know why. Thank goodness for my Nook. It will never enter a bathroom

    Comment by rachel on March 10, 2011
  12. Do you have an iPad? if so, there is a Toronto Public Library App. There are lots of books available, and if someone else has ‘taken it out’ you can reserve it. You can have it on your system for up to 3 wks. While reading on an e-reader is not quite the same, it’s pretty good (and free!). If you don’t have an iPad, well, this is a great excuse to get one. An investment, right?!

    Comment by newmom on March 10, 2011
  13. I’ve been on a bit of a book-buying tear recently, and the Catholic in me would be most grateful if you’d assuage my guilt be letting me pass a few along…Just finished Little Bee…it was phenomenal!

    Comment by Jennifer on March 10, 2011
  14. Why do you have to make me think about library books like that? Anna is a *reader,* and when I say “reader” I mean THE KID READS 2-5 BOOKS A WEEK. I can’t go broke writing checks to Scholastic and Barnes & Noble. We need the library (and its subsequent overdue book fines) to survive. Now I’m going to wonder just what the weird smear is on the 3rd page, thanks to you, alimartell.

    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot o on March 10, 2011
  15. I, too, am a germaphobe and a bibliophile (I LOVE having the opportunity to rock that word;).

    You are going to hate me a little bit for saying this, but, have you ever thought about the germs on the books that you buy from the book store? Now that I am on mat leave, I have been in the Indigo at odd times during the weekdays and there are many a sketchy looking character handling the stuff on the shelves…sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but, the probability of book store books being all kinds of germy is also up there.

    If I bought every book I read we would have to buy a new house, so the library it is for me. I’m the one purelling the library books before I bring them home.

    Comment by Jen on March 10, 2011
  16. BUT, the image of a sweaty man on the toilet flipping pages while pooping doesn’t come to mind when I think of bookstores…only libraries..

    Comment by ali on March 10, 2011
  17. I don’t use the library. Shrug. I’m fine stimulating the economy and encouraging new authors to write by purchasing new books.

    And I want a library in my house when I grow up. A big one. 🙂


    Comment by heidikins on March 10, 2011
  18. Snorted out loud at that last line.

    I can’t read library books. Well I can’t touch them at least, without needing 6 Benadryls. I have skin allergies. The Kindle is my saving grace. I love it.

    Comment by Issa on March 10, 2011
  19. Just get an e-reader!

    Also, your mom is going to downsize? Really?

    Comment by Kristabella on March 11, 2011

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