Are Old Books Bad For Your Health? Comment on Mold Spores and Dust Mice in the Lungs

The other day, I was in a used bookstore which was going out of business in our local area. The whole thought of that completely bothered me, nevertheless, everything was on sale so I wanted to see if there was anything that I needed. They had a section with some very old books in one of the corners. I pulled out a book I wished to buy, but the pages had turned brownish, and the acid paper was decaying. I opened up the book and I sneezed. Apparently it had dust mice.

I thought to myself “that’s unfortunate, and I don’t need dust mice in my own home or my own personal library,” and that portion of the used bookstore did smell musty, perhaps there were mold spores in the walls. Nevertheless, that got me thinking about how so many wealthy individuals in past periods have had emphysema, and other lung problems who had also had large libraries in their own mansions or homes. Could it be that all these old books over time as they decay caused dust particles and mold spores to get into people’s lungs?

If that’s the case then old libraries not kept at the proper temperatures could be dangerous for your health. Maybe we don’t have to worry about this, because the age of electronic books is now upon us. I often feel as if my home library is becoming more like a museum of artifacts. I’ve always thought that owning a personal library was of supreme value to one’s quest for a lifetime of learning, constantly improving one’s intellect and understanding of the life experience of the world we live in, however perhaps it is unsafe, health wise.

There are tiny organisms that feed off of wood, and therefore probably paper as well, that’s what books are made at of, and just as some hotels have bedbugs, it may not take long for one book in one’s library filled with tiny organisms to multiply, and advance to similar ecosystems along that bookshelf. You see my point? That’s a scary thought isn’t it?

There is not a lot of information on this as a look through the Internet, but there is a good chance that having too many old books might actually be bad for your health. And if you die early from some type of lung problem, you do realize you can’t take that knowledge with you. That’s all I’m saying here, but then again it may not matter because in the near future there won’t be any physical books.

Everything our next generation has to read will be an e-book, and you won’t have hundreds or thousands of titles in your personal library, you could easily have hundreds of thousands, and be connected to the Internet and trillions of pages of information all the same time. Please consider all this and think on it.