Katie Jaeger submitted the following query for the experts among our readers at The E-Sylum. -EditorFor 99 cents at a Goodwill store, I bought Marshall McClintock's 1948 Nobel Prize Treasury, a Literary Guild publication in hardback. I was just sick of everything and figured, well, short works of early Nobel-for-literature winners couldn't let me down. I was right. I've been reading it in bed off and on for about two months.
A few times while reading, I thought I saw movement on the page. My eyes not being as sharp as they used to be, I couldn't really verify it. Until last night - I stopped my reading and pulled the book close to my face. I saw the tiniest insect I've ever seen (way smaller than an aphid), nearly the same color as the yellowed page, maybe a touch whiter - ecru, I guess. Hard to imagine that any living thing, other than a microbe, could be so small. It was running across the page I'd just turned, evidently not liking the burst of light.
Now I'm not particularly squeamish about bugs, and I was enjoying the story (Thomas Mann's Little Hanno) and decided to worry about it later. I fell asleep, and this morning, in my rush to work, left the book on the bed. For about the tenth time.
I've just been web surfing on "book mites" and "book lice" and have read that the remedy is freezing, or putting the book in a hot dry place for a while. My question is, should I be majorly bummed that I've been sleeping with these critters? Actually, I feel sorry for them, in their tinyness, having to sleep with me, but, still...I'm not entirely happy with the term "lice." Any expertise among the readership?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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