I like water. I also like books. This is dangerous.

This is probably not the best thing to confess as a librarian, but I've messed up my fair share of books by getting them wet.

Clutch your pearls. Are they clutched tightly? Are you looking at me in an incredulous and disapproving manner?  Okay! That's what I expected.

I'm not advocating spilling water on your books.  I've seen far too many waterlogged books grow blue or pink mold in a day to go so far.  However, all of my beverage containers seem to have a curious fault: when I place them in a bag by themselves, not a leak to be seen.  In a bag with a book, and suddenly the seal is broken and the book is wet.  I try to keep them separate for this reason, but when traveling, it's not always possible.  That is how on my recent vacation I managed to warp two separate books (one on each flight).

These imperfections, however, mark them as mine (and often they must become mine if I do it to a library book).  Kazuo Ishiguro's Haruki Murakami's (my brain is not working, whoops) Underground fell victim to a leaky tupperware container of curtido.  Bastion and The Mill on the Floss suffered war wounds due to the need to remain hydrated while flying.  Abaddon's Gate has a wonderfully artistic coffee stain, but my most treasured book is also my worst-looking book: Pride and Prejudice.  It's coming time to read it again, but I've read it so many times already that the forest green spine is white with wear.  When I was in high school, I'd leave it next to my bed, and in my nighttime flailing, knock my water glass off of the side table and onto the book.  It's swelled to twice its original size, but I still know where to find my favorite quotes on each page.  It is truly one of the saddest looking books I've ever seen, but it is a loved book.  That's the best kind.


  1. (I'm sorry if you got some variation of this comment twice. On my end it looked like the site ate my post when it decided to log me in while I tried to make my post.)

    I think you meant Haruki Murakami as the author of Underground. I'm sad to learn that KPL's copy of the book met its demise. I still haven't read it yet, but I've long intended to. Looks like the Racine Library has a copy of it though.

    I liked your story of your copy of Pride and Prejudice.

    1. I should also add that this is Katie. I think this is the first time I've commented on a blog via my Google account, so I wasn't sure what would show up to identify myself.

    2. Oh lord, you're right! Hopefully I didn't ruin a copy of Never Let Me Go and my subconscious is reminding me... :D


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