Lately, I have been going to the public library here in Travelers Rest. It is excellent. And I’ve been checking out books. It’s free! Who would have known? Anyway, it is wonderful, but I have noticed something as I plow through novels by Robert B. Parker and James Lee Burke. It is this: Some people who borrow books at the library have poor hygiene. It is a rare thing when I go more than three or four pages without coming across residue of some kind. I am positive I have found blood smears, mucous from at least two places in the human body, and food stains (frequently chocolate).
If possible, I use a thumbnail to dislodge those deposits which can be dislodged. Then I sweep away the debris and continue. If the blemish is a stain, I just keep reading. After all, I am not a dilettante. Is this a general phenomenon, or does it apply only to those who read Parker and Burke? Knowing that there is no answer available, I will not let poor hygiene from previous readers deter me from enjoying a good story.
Far be it from me to participate in such sacrilege. When I read, I immediately blot out my wine and beer spills, and make sure to remove most of the pork rind crumbs, Cheese Puffs dust, and bacon bits before I return the book. I have standards.