Friday, August 6, 2010

Books, Wonderful Books!

I love to read. I always have and I’m pretty sure I always will.

I even considered myself a bit of a bookworm, that is, until I actually met one. Before this I didn’t even know actual bookworms existed. Wasn’t “bookworm” just a nickname for an avid reader? Apparently not! Last December, B.E. (Before Earthquake, which has become a new way we measure time around here) a friend of mine who knew I loved to read loaned me a whole stack of books. We had visitors, and it was dinner time by the time I got the books, but even while the spaghetti was cooking on the stove I couldn’t help but take a peek at the books and read a few pages. The first book I picked up was called Nebraska Legacy. It was interesting and captured my attention right away, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that there was something quite wrong with the book. The pages looked like this.

Who would do something like this to a book, I wondered? It looked like someone had taken a knife and made deep cuts into the book. On closer examination, I saw small holes in the pages as well. I picked the book up and shook it, but nothing happened. Then I began to turn the pages to the middle of the book and this is what I discovered.

Bookworms! “This can’t be real,” I exclaimed, as I watched not one, or two, but a whole family slowly emerge out of their hiding place. Wow, I guess bookworms are real! I quickly scanned the rest of the stack of books, but none of the others seemed to be affected. I called up my friend and told her what I had found and for her to check her bookshelf where she took the books from, but thankfully she couldn’t find any more. Having already started to read the book, I hated the thought of just throwing it in the garbage, so I came up with a brilliant plan. I searched my cupboards till I found a large leftover zip-lock taco shell bag that I could place the book inside. Before I put the book inside however, I went outside and sprayed the bag full of cockroach poison. I know it is powerful stuff, and if the fumes alone could kill a cockroach, it should have no problem getting rid of these pesky bookworms, I thought. I placed the book inside and sealed the bag. Then I placed the bag in my outside laundry room.

7 months later, having returned home to Haiti after the earthquake, I decided it was high time to clean out the laundry room. As I cleaned, I came across the book still nicely sealed in the bag. I opened the bag, wiped the whole book down with a damp cloth and carefully examined it to see if there were any worms left. Since I couldn’t find any, I soon began to read the book again, although I was careful to wash my hands every time I finished touching the book, just in case any remnant of poison was left behind. It wasn’t until I was half way finished the book that I was in for a surprise! A bookworm, and then another and another and another! I couldn’t believe it! Seriously, how could they possibly still be alive, after seven months with no oxygen, breathing in poisonous gases!

Shaking my head in wonder, I carefully placed the book in a shopping bag and threw it in the outside bin. Seeing how resilient the little worms were I just didn’t have the heart to try exterminate them a second time. I guess I will never know what happened to scout Painted Hands or Sarah Jane Benson, but oh well.


  1. Interesting... it'll make you a little more careful to open another book I'm sure!
    Anyway, thanks again for the update and the newest newsletter. It's always so good to hear from you!

  2. I love this story! It brings back the good memories of us chasing the worms in the book to take the pictures... haha! so funny!

  3. eeewwwww! They look nasty! I've never seen them!

  4. That is actually really neat!!! The ones I've seen are green and wear glasses, lol!! M Pronk