Wash Your Hands, and Save Your Library!

Rena George Libraries, My Kindles 10 Comments

                    Say hello to Sam!

He’s a nine-week-old cuddly bundle of mischief, and the new proud owner of my two little granddaughters.

His mum is a golden Springer Spaniel, and dad’s a chocolate brown Cocker. He’s officially known as a Sprocker. Quite how Sam managed to inherit this black coat we’re not too sure, but you have to admit he’s got bucket loads of cuteness. Something tells me you might be seeing a lot more of Sam on this blog.

Kindles and Libraries

I love my Kindle, but I still cherish my wonderful local library, where no request is too much trouble for the lovely staff. However, there is a growing issue concerning the hygiene of borrowing books that have already been through so many hands – and goodness knows where else.

This week alone two friends told me, quite independently, that for hygiene reasons they no longer use public libraries, preferring instead to pay for, and download books to their Kindles.

Now, I’m probably the biggest germ phobic alive, so I can completely understand this viewpoint, but it still saddens me.

Only recently we were all fighting to save our libraries when government cuts put them under threat. It seems that now there is another risk, and this time it could be one largely of our own making.

It isn’t rocket science to know that simple, regular hand washing is the best defence we have against germs and contamination, yet so many of us still don’t bother. How many times have you seen women in shop and restaurant toilets leave without ever going near the soaps and sinks? Ugh!

I recently read a shock report by researchers at a US university who studied contamination levels in a small sample of US hotel rooms. They discovered that the main culprits, as I’ve always suspected, are the TV remotes and bedside lamp switches.

More high levels of contamination were tracked down to the mops, sponges and cleaning utensils on maids’ trollies, thus spreading contamination further around the rooms. Not great news, especially for people who already have compromised immune systems.

The most shocking findings however (and don’t read this next bit if you have a nervous disposition) revealed that from 18 sample surfaces tested for bacteria, fecal bacteria was found on 81 per cent of all surfaces.

Now that’s scary!

Call me fussy…but I never travel without a pack of bacterial wipes and a small disinfectant spray. I might be doubling up on them after reading this.

Have a nice week, everyone.  Rena xx



Comments 10

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  1. Oh, Rena, isn’t he gorgeous! What lovely fun your two little granddaughters are going to have with him 🙂

    Those are shocking statistics. I am paranoid about germs – I take a bottle of hand wash everywhere (if I forget, my first stop is to buy one) and I don’t know how many times I’ve nearly fallen down stairs because I don’t like to touch the handrails.

    What bugs me are library books covered in crumbs and coffee rings and goodness knows what else! x

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      Yes, little Sam’s pretty cute, isn’t he? There’s a lot of excitement in that family at the moment.
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one paranoid about germs, Teresa. I never leave the house without my hand gel either, and I never, ever touch bannisters. They must be absolutely crawling with germs.
      I still borrow books from the library though, but each one gets a good going over with a bacterial wipe before I read it. I’m not sure how effective this is, but it makes me feel better. x

  2. I hear you on the germ phobia. That’s one of the reasons I hate touching things and why I have eczema because I wash my hands raw with anti-bacterial soap (and sometimes dettol). And yes, I do the anti-bacterial wipe thing with books, too – new ones that come from Amazon, because since I found out they were handled by real people (who might not wash their hands after going to the loo) rather than robots, it kind of freaked me out a bit. And bleach and anti-bacterial cleaners in hotel bathrooms – I do that, paying particular attention to the taps, shower and loo – and I also disinfect the remote control, the light switches, door handles and all the hard surfaces. And we take our own towels (and pillows when we can). My big mistake was opting for microbiology when I left school – life has never been the same since we did the experiment to find out the before and after hand-washing germ count and I was the only one who had washed hands properly. Anti bacterial gel is the best thing ever invented.

    Gosh, I went on a bit there, sorry. You touched on one of my favourite subjects :0)

    Sam is gorgeous. Bless.


    1. Oh, and money. I hate touching money. I once spoke to an assistant in Waterstones who swore he’d caught athletes foot on his hands from handling money in the cash office. And I believed him.

      It even smells dirty.

      I always made the tooth fairy thoroughly disinfected coins before popping them under the pillow.


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        Yes, handling money freaks me out too, Suzanne, especially when I see staff in butchers’ shops touching meat after handling customers’ change. If I had my way ALL assistants in food shops would wear rubber gloves. OH, and supermarket trolleys – just imagine how many germs those handles must be picking up. Yuk. x

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  3. Sam is just gorgeous, Rena! How come dogs are so photogenic?! I’m not paranoid about germs – it comes from having spent a lot of time on boats I think. I couldn’t afford to be! I do think that’s sad about not using libraries because of germs though. I use mine a lot.

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      I love libraries and would hate to lose any of them. Whenever we are in Cornwall we visit the public library in Morrab Road, Penzance. I’ll think about you and your recent book launch there, Flowerpot, when we visit again next month.

      Thanks by the way for the information re Your Dog magazine’s forthcoming publication of dog-friendly holiday accommodation. Can’t wait to read your reviews. xx

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