The Library Book Sins

We have common courtesies for everything from “Bless you” at a sneeze to how long to open the door for someone behind you. Soon your whole life will be consumed with pushing in chairs and pulling them out for others. Drop those manners (they’ll figure out how to pull out their own chairs eventually, it’s called tough love) and learn the ones that really matter.

That’s right. Here are some don’ts for library books. Don’t be that person, faithful reader, or I may have to break rule five and hit you over the head.


1. Avoid writing on the pages. I know, it’s so hard to not regress to your kindergarten days, but I’m sure you can manage. Anyone who later sees your scribbles will no doubt judge you. Same goes to the following readers. If the sinner at least wrote in pencil, you can always take an eraser to “unwrite” the wrong.

2. Um, try to avoid eating over them? Or sneezing, bleeding, oozing or anything involving bodily liquids. This goes past manners; it’s called hygiene, people. Think of how many hands that book passes through. Save eating for another time (it’s supposedly unhealthy to multitask while eating anyway) and keep bodily fluids or bug guts away.

3. Try not to leave books sitting in the sun for a long time. This is just an aesthetic peeve I have as it unevenly tans the pages’ rims. You may think sun lotion and skin cancer is cool look for you, but tan lines don’t flatter a book’s figure.

4. Now. Dog ears. We knew it had to come up. I say anything that changes a library book’s original form is a no-go. That includes bending or, dear God, ripping the corners. There is paper everywhere; make use of the forests’ impending death and use some of it for bookmarks.

5. Don’t throw them, drop them or use the poor souls as weapons. The pages were alive once. Show some respect.

6. For God sake, return them. They’re free and let’s keep them that way. To steal something that is offered for free is a waste of your purity and a librarian’s time and money. If you harmed or lost the book, just pay for it. Think of all the money the library has saved you thus far and give thanks by, for example, giving them money.
I have given you the path to reading decency. Follow it.