Nonsmoking, no-pet environment
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I'm looking through the list of books offered in Member Giveaways, and I come across a description of a book that begins with "It is from a non-smoking and no-pet environment." What the heck is that supposed to mean?
I understand that statement when it is applied to a home for sale or rent, but what difference do those things make to a book? Does it mean that no pages have burn marks and no cat has peed on this book? For cripe sake!
Frankly, I don't think a person should brag about not having pets.
Most of my library consists of previously-owned books. I don't think I've ever been able to tell that one of them was somehow associated with a house pet. Some very few do, however, notably carry the stigma of cigarette stink.
There are some from a particular shop that are marked with a unique and characteristic olfactory blend of cigarettes, cheap incense, and (presumably, but not so you could isolate it) cat rank.
Tobacco smoke can impregnate a book to the point of making it unreadable for a nonsmoker who is somewhat allergic to the smoke. I've had a few from the library that I couldn't wait to turn back in!
> 3: Behave.
> 1: It's simply for the perhaps oversensitive. When I still occasionally sold stuff on eBay I did so too - only the total opposite. Smething like : "I smoke, I have pets. If that worries you: don't buy from me."
Books with exposure to pets and smoke can carry those allergens, and it's common in bookswap sites for book givers to make note of possible exposures as courtesy information for requesters.
I haven't seen an instance of this in MG before, but I suspect this giver just wished to be thorough.
4> Me, too. It's really agravating if it was something I really wanted to read.
Well, technically, smoke cannot be an allergen - it's not a protein. People who can't cope with cigarette smoke have an asthmatic hypersensitivity problem. But regardless of whether you have that problem or not, books which are imbued with cigarette smoke can be really awful. And people with a bad allergy to pets can react if there are hairs in a book, so I think the declaration sounds reasonable.
>5 What? Now some wandering wolf… (looks out window)… some debonair Dutchman is telling me to behave? It's all too much. I'm going outside for a smoke. (I won't smoke inside because of the books)
I hate cigarette smoke, but for some reason I can handle a mild lingering smoke on used items. I'm asthmatic but not badly, I suppose if I had a serious problem it might be different and I might like the caveat. I have cats and their hair gets everywhere, probably in my books too. To me it's charming, but I'm a cat lady and I get that other people hate it. If you can smell kitty litter, then you're in trouble.
Nowadays I'm more worried about bedbugs. They do ride books.
11 - If you're worried about bed bugs, silverfish, or any other creepy crawlies that can tag along, I recommend putting the books in a sealed ziplock bag and then sticking the bag in the freezer for a night or two. That way you don't risk hurting your own books. It also takes care of some types of molds and bacterias that can travel on books and even some smells!
>1 Frankly, I don't think a person should brag about not having pets.
Can I brag about not having children?
I've gotten some library books that were unreadable due to cigarette smoke smelling pages. I don't know what people do to some of these library books.
Not sure what a pet would do to a book. Tear the pages? Eat it? Slobber on it?
See: http://www.librarything.com/profile/Ankher. Mind you, that only happened when she was just a little pup.
16 - I know with some cat people (not all, I'm a cat person myself), they just take such poor care of their animals that the smell of urine permeates the book. It is the most rank and vile thing you could possible imagine.
I have quite a few books with cat teeth and claw marks that are still readable but not really ones that can be traded because of the damage. Some had to thrown away since they were completely shredded. But cat dander in the creases of a book (between pages) could give some people a severe reaction.
#16 ~~ Not sure what a pet would do to a book.
Tiger Lilly, my cat, rubs all over any book I'm trying to read, whether it's in my hands or set aside for later. And, if I happen to be laying on my stomach, with the book open flat in front of me, she thinks it is appropriate to sit in the middle of the book.
She's the first animal I've ever had in my house, and I can't begin to tell you how many cat hairs (no matter how much I brush her) end up in the pages of my books! And she's a short haired cat.
Back when we had guinea pigs, we ended up with some books a little chewed up from their tiny teeth.
#23 I used to have the same issue with budgies. These days it's more likely to be chooks, although there's only one who routinely tries to sit on me when I'm reading.
#1 Quite a lot of people who use MG are expecting to get books in very good condition, so notes like that certainly help. Yes, it's technically a free book, but as others have said getting a book that smells of cigarettes or with pet hair in it can be extremely unpleasant. Making a declaration like that up front reduces the likelihood of acrimonious emails later. (And in this case, would make the members book more attractive to people with allergies.)
I think they needs to enforce a rule where when you post LTMG books, you list all the known allergens in your home. You know, for the children.
"This book was shelved in a home that also had peanuts, tree nuts, and ring-tailed lemurs."
I bought a copy of Maritime Heritage a year or two ago via AbeBooks - it smelt like the top deck of a City of Birmingham omnibus in the 1950s. pickled in tobacco smoke, that is. There is another reason for not wishing to have such objects around (other than the 'allergic' and distaste) and that is the nostalgic reminder how much pleasure could be gained from the weed.
Clan and Balkan Sobranie in a pipe, small cigars, Gitanes, Passing Clouds, Papastratos No.1, Gauloises.......... Eheu fugaces!
@ My own comment about putting books in the freezer
Speak of the devil...
My library flooded several weeks ago and we just got the last of the carpet out. Well, apparently all the moisture caused a bit of mold and I came home today to discover mold mites on my books that were sitting near the mold.
My standalone freezer is now a dedicated book quarantine for the next three days :s
>23 LOL!!! Don't forget wheat, dairy, and banded geckos in the allergen list.
27 - The books weren't moldy; bugs just give me the heeby jeebies. And they cause allergic reactions and exacerbate asthma, so best to get rid of them.
And the freezing gets rid of some types of mold, as well (but not the spores).
>24 ...Three Nuns, Gallaher's, Ernte 23...
I keep my last pipe - cold for more than ten years - in a small drawer where the lingering flavour can concentrate. Then when the need is great, as like as not provoked by one of these aromatic books, I can open the drawer for a deep sniff, and a moment of contented recall.
>1 Guess you don't trade books or look at the Member Giveaway book descriptions much?
Have included a pet and/or smoking statement in the description statement for books I've given away on LibraryThing since 2009.
I include the pet and smoking statement because, the two most common questions I have been asked when swapping or giving away books, are about smoke odors and/or cats in the home. Regardless of their reason(s), some people feel these things are important.
Frankly, it is simply common courtesy, especially if listing a used book, to describe the book's condition and note any defects it might have, so the requester/recipient will know what they are requesting/getting. Adding a pet and smoking statement, is just an extension of this.
paradoxosalpha says: "Most of my library consists of previously-owned books. I don't think I've ever been able to tell that one of them was somehow associated with a house pet."
Me too. I have a big library full of mostly used books, and I sure can't tell if any one was owned by a pet owner or a smoker.
justjim said, "I have books. I don't have pets. Deal with it."
You use that expression incorrectly. I don't know you and have nothing to do with how you conduct your life. How could I possibly "deal with it"?
> 30 Frankly, it is simply common courtesy, especially if listing a used book, to describe the book's condition and note any defects it might have, so the requester/recipient will know what they are requesting/getting. Adding a pet and smoking statement, is just an extension of this.
And if I don't list the fact that the free book in MG came from, gasp, a pet infested household and I never mentioned it privately to the winner, does that make me a rude person?
33> Only if the person who received it was highly pet-allergic and went to the ER because of your book. Of course, someone who was _highly_ allergic would probably think to check... in which case you just get a time-wasting exchange of emails of "do you have cats/dogs?" "yes" "Oh, OK, thanks, can't take the book" rather than the allergic person glancing at your listing and knowing not to request. Your choice.
>34 What if they go to Urgent Care and not the ER? LOL!
Personally, I feel I'm totally exempt because if anyone checks my home page or sends me a private message, there are the pictures of my C-A-T-S!!! Gasp! Course, companies still put warnings "May contain peanuts" on peanut butter, so maybe I still should put a warning.
Just listed a MG book and based on this thread, I added:
WARNING: I have cats, so book may come with a free cat hair or two (but absolutely no cat smell!).
>37 Hmmm, do you want the one that just up-chucked the hairball? Or the one that hangs his behind over the edge of the litter box?? Book included.
>38 I've got the kind that jumps on my head when I'm asleep. Hairballs and expanding litter space is a breeze.
@38 & 39 - My chews on my head and pulls my hair with his teeth while I'm sleeping if he wants to go out. If I try to hide under the covers, he knocks over lamps, pictures, etc.
Hairballs and litter issues are VERY easy.
I just cataloged a book yesterday with a private note that there was cat puke on the cover. All for the sake of compulsive accuracy in cataloging, of course. Also as a note to myself that I probably wouldn't be able to sell that one on eBay.
In my first job, 1970-72, as a librarian at a small college in Atlantic Canada the retired head of the RCMP* division would only borrow new books. If he had no alternative but to take one that was previously read he would put it in the oven before he read it.
* Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Oh man, but okay, if you're really really allergic - who knows. Allergies can be a real pain, potentially even life threatening.
Personally, several of my books - I mean the actual copies - are over a century old. Some much more. I can only realistically assume that at least some percentage of them used to belong to Victorian country vicars (and/or libertines). A couple would have been antiques even then. Sure, there will have been cigars, pipes, dogs, cats, cocaine, opium, etc. etc. in the vicinity of those books, and traces might remain. But, if you're not really allergic : get over it!
P.s.: anybody putting one of my books in an oven runs the risk of decapitation.
A trip through the freezer in an air-tight bag with a used dryer sheet destroys all contaminants, bugs, and smells (in my experience). I don't know about allergens, though.
I toyed with making up horrible, but transposable, punishments for people who would borrow my books, and put them into either an oven or a freezer.
Then I remembered; Nobody touches my books. I don't lend them, I don't even show them off much.
Mine, mine, mine. No cats, no dogs, rat poison behind every bookcase. No children, obviously. Dust is left to lay; it only gets so thick and no thicker.
*shakes walking stick*
>46 "No cats, no dogs, ..."
You are missing a great opportunity here. If anyone steals one of my books (I don't lend), the DNA on the cat hair would leave no doubts as to ownership.
Maybe those of us without pets could lay one of our own hairs in each book.
My wife makes me keep bags of books from my parents' house in the office for a few weeks, so the tobacco can leech out of them.
48 > One does sometimes find what's apparently human hairs in library books. Short ones might be from someone's cat, but the decimeters-long ones surely came from people.
I have definitely had books which smelled unpleasant because I have been a heavy smoker, have had cats who were not always shooting in the kitty litter box, and have had dogs who relieved themselves inappropriately in my house. This is all history now. But if I were to offer a book for free give away, I would disclose if it had an unpleasant odor.
Seems kind of like a no brain-er. Why not? Life is so much more pleasant if I extend some courtesy to others.
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