Summer is here! Long days and warm evenings. For some people, summer means camping, boating, swimming and other outdoor activities. If you are a reader, than you know how easy it is for books to take an unexpected dip in a body of water (or the bathtub) or get soaked in a sprinkler. Most of us just put up with the water-wrinkled pages if we are able to save the book and dry it out. However, I'm here to share with you a method that I learnt in one of my library courses. First, squeeze as much of the water out of the book as you can. Next, put the book in the freezer. You want it to freeze solid. Place a towel on a flat surface and put the completely frozen book on the towel. If the book is hardcover, you will want to put paper towel or another thin towel inside the front and back covers. Paperbacks just need a towel on the outside. Fold the towel over the top of the book, or place another towel on top of the book. Finally, place a very heavy weight on top of the whole stack. Whatever you use for a weight (larger book, full box, etc) must cover the book and extend over the edges, but not be so large that it tips over rather than sitting level. As the ice melts, the water will be absorbed by the towels so make sure you check occasionally, and change the towels/paper towels as necessary. Once the ice has completely melted, and all the water has been absorbed by the towels, your book should be as good as new, with nary any wrinkled pages. As you partake in your favourite summer activities, don’t let a waterlogged book spoil your summer fun this year.
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Beth's Ponderings I’m left-handed. Now, saying that in 2014, in North America, isn’t going to shock anyone. We joke about it now - I’m in my “right” mind. But, it wasn't always like that.
In days of old, left-handedness was seen as evil, a sin, or a sign of witchcraft, and the poor folks who used their left hand were persecuted by the Church, which claimed Biblical authority for their actions against left-handed people. Seems they missed that one of the Hebrews’ great judges was a leftie. (Judges 4:15) At best, the “offender” would have their left hand cut off. Often, though, their punishment was death - by drowning, burning at the stake, hanging, or drawn-and-quartering. In the early 1900s folks became more enlightened about the concept of left-handedness, so rather than killing lefties, they forced them to use their right hand. This led to generations of mixed up left-handed folks. Not so much because they had to physically use a different hand - humans have two hands and are remarkably able to use either if the situation calls for it - but rather because of the continued use of shame and degradation heaped on them for being “different” and not conforming to the norm. Even as current as the early 1990s, one could find articles in prominent newspapers around the continent saying that left-handed people were a menace to society and should not be allowed operate macinery , or drive as they cause more accidents. Not true...making left TURNS causes more accidents than left-handed drivers. Being left-handed is a very intrinsic part of me and affects virtually everything I do from the moment I wake up till I go to bed at night. Yet, I don’t go around introducing myself thus: “Hi! I’m Beth and I’m left-handed.” It doesn’t even come up unless I see someone else writing with their left hand, and even then it is only mentioned in passing. So, if left-handedness is such an accepted part of every day life, why do we, as a society, continually persist in shaming people who live differently from what we have deemed the “norm” to be? Why do we, as a society, insist they have to change who they are to be accepted by us?