A pair of
Dutch university professors have just finished a new study in which they took the 10 most borrowed books in the Antwerp lending library and ran them through a battery of toxicology and bacteriology tests. The results make me want to go scrub my hands.
The professors found that all 10 books tested positive for cocaine, unfortunately in concentrations that aren’t high enough to get you high but will result in a positive result on a drug test (all the downsides but none of the fun). They also found that 2 of the books, including 50 Shades, tested positive for the herpes virus.
I know you’re saying ewww right now, but I would hold off on that emotion. This result, as gross as it may be, should come as no surprise to anyone who has had Bio 101.
When I took the class years ago there was one section where we swabbed a wide variety of surfaces and grew cultures. If you had seen how many things were growing on a door handle you would probably want to douse yourself in antibacterial soap.
Herpes may be attention getting, but please note that there’s no mention of whether they found Herpes A or B (not even in the original Dutch (Flemish?) sources). For all we know someone might have a serious problem with mouth sores, not an STD.
Also, I can’t find any sign that the professors tested for other bacteria or viruses, and that makes me think that they went for this one detail just to shock us. The original source was a Dutch TV show after all, not an academic paper.
But just to be safe, I suggest that everyone start practicing safe reading. At the very least you could wear gloves and a mask when handling a library book, but I think it better to follow your mother’s maxim: “Don’t touch that. You don’t know where it’s been.”
P.S. This post is brought to you by DuPont, maker of HazMat suits, and Trojan, maker of condoms.