One thing that I really love is the public library. I think it is the one of the most visible positive uses of our tax dollars. Need to know how to roast a chicken? Need to learn to bake cookies? Looking for recipes to recreate a Colonial banquet? Just head to the 641 section and you have rows and rows of cookbooks at your fingertip. I hear people brag about their personal collections, but let’s face it, these public collections are just awe inspiring. Best thing of all, it’s free.
I recently checked out a copy of The Dinner Doctor by Anne Byrn. I was browsing the aisles when I noticed there were five copies of this book on the shelf and, I must admit, I wanted to know why this book was so popular. I get the book home, start reading recipes and I follow one to the next page… and it’s missing the end of the recipe. I check the page numbers. There is a page missing. Nope, not a problem with the publisher…a problem with a pilferer! Someone had ripped the page right out of the book. And not just one page, but about a dozen. That made me hot. There are photocopiers everywhere! Would it have hurt this vandal to walk twenty steps down the aisle and plunk a dollar’s worth of dimes into the machine and take home copies of her/his favorite recipes?
Come on people…let’s have a little respect for our fellow patrons. Just because these books belong to everyone does not mean you get to abuse them. When you check out a book, you are its guardian until it goes back home. Even more important, in this time of cutbacks to educational and public services, every book that needs replaced means a new one that never gets purchased. True, the library most likely won’t replace this particular book; they have four more duplicates on the shelves, but what if it was something that couldn’t be replaced? Thanks a lot, you inconsiderate boob!
To sum it up, let’s play nice boys and girls. It takes so little effort to think of others and yet we do it so rarely. The least we can do is respect our communal property such as library books and leave them for others to learn from.