Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book cleaning 101

A book comes back to your library sticky. A lot of library workers don't know this, but you don't have to throw it away when this happens. Yes, it is always easiest to throw library books in the garbage, and with library budgets as lavish as they are it is tempting. But it is important to remember we are institutions of the people, and throwing away the peoples' money will eventually get enough of them so upset and depressed that they will try to commit National Suicide by swallowing increasingly poisonous and dangerous Republicans. So before the nation elects some kind of unhinged, self-absorbed, freakishly colored lunatic to be President of the United States why don't we try cleaning this book instead?

Good, I'm glad you're with me. I'm even going to tell you how, professionally, to make this library book fit for library use once again. 

There are a mere 14 simple steps.

Step 1:

Wipe with a paper towel to get a feel for the substance on the book.

Step 2:

Regard the sticky book with thoughtful consideration for five minutes.

Step 3:

Grab a wet wipe because that worked once on something once before. Maybe ink stains? Notice that the book is now slightly cleaner and slightly stickier.

Step 4:

Go to get the Goo Gone and yell "What the hell happened to the Goo Gone! It was just here two days ago!"

Step 5:

Notice the bottle of rubbing alcohol and grab that. Pour some out on a towel, rub it in, and notice it seems to be doing something. Though you're not sure what.

Step 6:

Pour a little of the rubbing alcohol directly onto the cover of the book, except have a whole bunch pour out instead and have it saturate the book.

Step 7:

Notice how the book already smells better and seems safe to touch. Also the book seems more genial and relaxed.

Step 8:

Start mopping up the rubbing alcohol and rubbing the sticky places until the book is, A. More sanitized than it ever has been or ever will be again,  B. Clean of all it's library labeling that dissolved in the alcohol, and C. Now full of something more like lumps of sticky stuff instead of its previous even surface of sticky stuff.

Step 9: 

Go talk to every single one of your co-workers until one of them coughs up the goo gone (figuratively).

Step 10:

Spray some goo gone on the surface of the book. Clean with more paper towels. It's working!

Step 11:

Unavoidably notice that while the book is now immaculate, and cleaned of all the sticky stuff, it is now also unpleasantly slimy to the touch and will cause anyone coming in contact with it to recoil in horror.

Step 12:

Apply more rubbing alcohol to the book to try to clean off, or cut, the intractable goo gone residue. This works pretty well and you can adjust according to whether you prefer the overwhelming rubbing alcohol smell or the overwhelming goo gone smell.

Step 13:

Reapply all the library stickers you melted off with the rubbing alcohol.

Step 14:

Try to dry all the pages and places that got wet from all the rubbing alcohol you drowned the book in. Standing it up in a spread open configuration works okay, especially if you have a small fan you can point at it for 16 hours or so.

And that's it. Your book is genuinely like new, except for its faint air of goo gone slipperiness and having the edges of the pages all kind of wavy crinkled from getting wet with rubbing alcohol. Circulate it with pride!


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