I LOVE my library. I take the kids once a week to load up on books. We go to events and we complete their reading program every summer. I donate money and books and attend fundraisers. I read constantly, but probably only buy about five books a year. They're expensive, take up way too much space in my house, and I'd rather spend money on something else. Instead, I keep up with book release dates and put new titles on hold before my local branch has even ordered them. That way I'm one of the first people on the list. I also download ebooks and borrow DVDs. They have a lot of older movies that are hard to find online. I can't speak highly enough about this amazing community resource. If you don't already do it, you should totally check out the library in your town!

Sometimes though, I get creeped out by reading books touched by so many other people. I immediately wipe down the books with alcohol prep pads (especially the kid books) when we get them home. Every once in a while I come across a page with a water stain or a tear. And sometimes there's something brown or sticky between the pages and I gag a little while trying to read the book without actually touching it.

I've never come across anything like this though. About ten pages into Danielle Fishel's memoir, Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness, I noticed that the patron before me whited out the word ass. A few pages later, the word pissed was covered up. Weird. Technically, those aren't even bad words. I laughed it off and tweeted about it. 

But later in the book, when Danielle shared a picture of herself on Halloween one year, I found this:

What? Why?! At first I thought this person was trying to cover up cleavage. But upon further inspection, it looks like they created straps for the dress. I laughed hysterically and showed Jacob. I assumed it was some prude who didn't want this scandalous book with curse words and bare shoulders circulating around town. Jacob thought maybe a mom read it before her daughter and tried to hide what she didn't want her to read. But seriously, what modern day preteen cares about Topanga from Boy Meets World? I kept reading and discovered another whited out ass and a couple bitchys. Again, those aren't even curse words! 

I was kinda pissed at this point. Who borrows a book from the library and censors it? What if this person got their hands on something really improper, disrespectful, or controversial? The library is filled with those books and I like some of them! I decided to tell the librarian when I returned the book, not exactly to tattle, but to let her know it wasn't me. She was surprised, laughed along with me, and agreed that it wasn't ok. Since the book is so new she said she could look up the last patron and make a phone call. I wish I could hear the explanation.


SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I would be SO PISSED! I'm glad you said something and that she's making a call.

The library is the place to house books of all kinds, not just books you like or agree with. If you don't approve of the content, it's quite easy - stop reading it and return it!

Kelly @ turned UP to ELEVEN! said...

Well I'm happy to see it wasn't the librarians that did it but WTF!!!

I would have loved to wait there while she called the person!!!

Who does that? To a book that belongs to the library. I honestly would revoke their membership ... or better yet make them buy a NEW copy.

How annoying!!! And funny.

Jana @ Jana Says said...

Defacing library books makes me feel all the rage. It's not your book; you have no business doing that. I would have loved to hear the explanation and also, what other books has he or she done that to?

I hope the library imposes some sort of consequence.

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Hold your phone!!! What?! I thought your were kidding. I read this post twice to make sure you weren't. Who does that? It's one thing to do this {if you really feel weirded out by words, but then don't even bother reading or watching anything, let alone living}. Do this to your own book and not to a rented one. Second, what kind of a person is this? I understand that people don't like curse words and don't use them for whatever reason. Fine. But whoever did this had no business using white-out for words he/she didn't approve and holy cow...on a photo?! Really?! WOW.

I'm pissed off {ha!!!}...I better stop commenting. lol

We live in a weird and sad world sometimes. WOW. I really wonder how that conversation went with the last patron...that must have been interesting.

Karen M. Peterson said...

If you don't approve of the language in a book, quit reading and turn it back in. My gosh. What is wrong with people? Isn't that technically defacing public property?

Allison said...

What the fuck? (Censor that, crazy library patron). That's absolutely ridiculous. If you don't want to read something with anything bad, read the Berenstein Bears and be done with it, otherwise either stop reading, or get over it. That's absolutely insane!

Micah said...

As a librarian, I am horrified that someone took it upon themselves to censor something that belongs to the library. GRR.

Jo said...

When I was growing up I lived in our library (my mom also worked there during the school holidays). I miss having library around. But I can't for the life of my understand why anyone would do that to a book, any book! No!

Misty, Handbags + Handguns said...

I remember when you tweeted about this. It's just as funny now. I love everyone's comments too. What kind of weirdo does this?