Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Read Your Books to Save Them from Bookworms

Actually, they aren't worms that eat the pages of your favorite books, it's more likely to be beetles, moths, lice, roaches and other insects that are looking for the nutritious fare found on bookshelves.

Through the years a variety of poisons have been used to rid a library of these evil beasts, including cedar oil, citrus leaves, cyanide, carbolic acid and mercury chloride, but they have limited success.  It looks like the best advice came from Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist from 160 AD.

He criticized "the ignorant book collector" at length, charging that anyone who amassed books to show off their wealth rather than to read them deserved a plague of bugs:  "What else is he doing but buying haunts for mice and lodings for worms?" [Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart]
In other words, read your books and pests will have no time to settle into the feast attractively set out before them!

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