x-posted: how do you feel about used childrens books? - Mothering Forums
The Mindful Home > x-posted: how do you feel about used childrens books?
anomaly13's Avatar anomaly13 07:39 PM 12-02-2009
I posted this in the books forum but though I would also post it here.

I personally think any used book is great, as long as it is in decent condition. Yesterday DH let me know he is not a fan of used books for the kids or library books. Specifically he was upset that I brought books home from the doctor's office, the doctor lets the kids pick 2 books each time they come for a well child check, or maybe any time they visit but we have only gone for well child checks. The books are in the waiting room an a large shelf, I have never seen kids reading them as they wait for their appointment, they are usually more interested in all the toys whcih I am a little grossed out by tbh.

So do you clean you used books? how? what about library books?

LeighB's Avatar LeighB 08:10 PM 12-02-2009
Dd really only has books that have come from the thrift store. I just spray a cloth with vinegar and then wipe down the pages. Especially with board books because kids chew on them so much.
limette's Avatar limette 10:48 PM 12-02-2009
Maybe tell him germs don't last very long on dry surfaces?

I have no problem with used books but they often get my allergies riled up. Especially with library books.
halomancer's Avatar halomancer 11:44 PM 12-02-2009
I buy used books for my DS, I read library books to him. That said, he hasn't chewed on books in a long time, and of course I never let him put library books in his mouth, because they are not ours.
major_mama11's Avatar major_mama11 11:49 PM 12-02-2009
My DH is this way about used books, too. I can't afford to buy all new books, though. Our house is full of books, and 95% are used books. I just wipe down the covers and call it good. DD has only been ill maybe 3-4x in her life, so I'm pretty sure they're not that big of a safety hazard.
TripMom's Avatar TripMom 05:33 AM 12-03-2009
How long can a germ live on a book?

Why don't you plastic bag the book (like preschools do with toys) for a period of time (days? a week? google it . . ) -- call it good.

books are the best used item IMHO!
lucyem's Avatar lucyem 11:35 AM 12-03-2009
I avoid library books during flu season. But otherwise I do not worry about it. Toys in doctors offices scare me more and I have noticed more and more offices are no longer putting out toys.
Owen'nZoe's Avatar Owen'nZoe 02:18 PM 12-03-2009
I really wouldn't worry about it personally, but you could Ziploc and freeze the books for a few days if it would make him feel better. Makre sure to get all of the air out of the bag before you seal it, and leave the book in the bag until it is fully thawed.
bigteamug's Avatar bigteamug 02:28 PM 12-03-2009
I would only really worry about it if the books smelled funky/mildewed. Otherwise, used books are a lot of what we get. Maybe tell him the off-gassing from the ink is reduced in used books? Which is probably true.....
fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 02:36 PM 12-03-2009
Um... okay then. Two thoughts - bookstores don't package their books, anyone can pick up and flip through them and once you or your child has read a book it is used, then what?

I currently have about 200 library books in my possession, as well as hundreds of books purchased used. I don't think we've ever gotten sick from a book. Germs really can't live that long without a host.
Jenivere's Avatar Jenivere 03:00 PM 12-03-2009
We loved books wether they are used, new or from the library. It's never occurred to me to worry about books and germs.
luv-my-boys's Avatar luv-my-boys 03:26 PM 12-03-2009
I buy used books and borrow books for the kids from the library. I wouldnt be able to afford our book addiction otherwise And since we homeschool we have found a great resource that sells books/workbooks and other school/teacher materials for a donation so that is also something we can not give up.

I do however wipe the cover down with a either a clorox wipe or maybe a towel sprayed with tea tree oil, just depends on what I have on hand. I do not chose items that appear to have been chewed on or mouthed and I wash our hands after we have handled a library book. I have been known to spray lysol on a book and let it air out outside (that particular book was really wanted by my child but looked a little questionable)

But like another poster added a sick person could have easily picked up a book at barnes/noble. Heck I've seen little children slober and sneeze all over the new books there.
lach's Avatar lach 03:47 PM 12-03-2009
Huh, this never even occurred to me.

I buy tons of used books because I like a lot of them better than newer ones. Many of my very favorite kids books are out of print.
stik's Avatar stik 03:57 PM 12-03-2009
It never occurred to me to be worried about book germs. There's a reason laboratories don't use ink and paper for culture media when they're trying to grow stuff, you know?

Everything has some kind of germ on it, regardless of where it came from. That's why I make my kids wash their hands.
bjorker's Avatar bjorker 07:49 AM 12-06-2009
Honestly, this has never ever crossed my mind. We buy used books all the time. We don't get sick very often. I don't think there's any reasonable risk there.
CatNamedSue's Avatar CatNamedSue 08:38 AM 12-06-2009
It's just impractical to avoid all used books! Not only is it expensive to only buy new books, but they're meant to last indefinitely... which means passing them down, selling them to buy new-old books, lending them to friends. While I can understand why your husband might be a little icked out by doctor's office books, holding a grudge against all used books is unreasonable, in my opinion. ;-)

Never borrowed books from the doctor myself, but I would say about 99% of all of our books are pre-read.