I did have a look at the charity shops in our town as a result of this thread and they all seem to be selling books still.
Our local REd Cross charity shop has a sign in the window requesting more donations of second hand books.
There must be some sort of happy medium – there’s a suggestion that over-zealous cleanliness has impeded children’s capacity to build up immunities. At the same time, surely no one is suggesting we return to taking baths just once a week. There must, somewhere, be a middle ground?
Some people are such germaphobes that it’s amazing they ever go outside…I read about those who can’t go on a cruise without taking anti-bac wipes, sprays, gloves…and that’s just for dealing with their cabin!
I had the-then
childhood diseases, but apart from a bad dose of Noro when I was a student, I cannot recall picking up more than a cold and perhaps one episode of flu 20 years ago. Yet we lived in quite unsanitary times- the school loos were a broken down shed in the playground, and there were no handwashing facilities…it’s amazing we made it to our 20s, never mind our 70s!
Yet we’ve all somehow miraculously survived since the creation of the NHS all those malignant magazines and leprous lego bricks
in doctors’ waiting rooms up and down the country for the past century ? When was the Nanny State officially created ?
Our GP surgery also has no kids toys as well as no magazines or books!
Microwaving books ? Now I’ve heard everything…never thought of that one. Heard from someone the other day that a local GP’s waiting room has been entirely cleared of toys and magazines as health & safety regs won’t cover it…so why not rip out the furniture as well ? Is the Howard Hughes approach to sterile environments ?
My sister visited a stately home, where they were killing fungal infections etc, by placing their old books in a microwave.
She thought she’d do that with a charity find, before sending it to me….so she put the paperback in the microwave for well over a minute.
The glue melted, and I received a parcel of pages fastened together with elastic bands….
With the advent of car boot sales I think we have all become immune to the dangers of "germs" being passed around – I buy lots of books at these as well as toys for the grandchildren and clothes for holidays. The downside is that I also own a shop and have really noticed the drop in sales and footfall. The only businesses that profit in our town are the charity shops!
As a child I remember the days when the local librarian would check if your hands were clean before permitting you to borrow any books, there was also a warning written in bold typeface beneath the date stamp bit saying: YOU MUST WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE USING THIS BOOK.