Does Frugality Gross You Out?

used books

Last week, on a nice spring day, I was sitting outside on my porch reading one of my many library books. My neighbor came over to see how I was doing and wanted to know what I was reading. I flipped it over to show her the title and she could clearly see the library bar code and due date stamps on the back.

“Oh, gross. It’s a library book,” she said.

“Yeah. So? I get most of my books from there,” I said.

“Don’t you ever wonder where they’ve been? I could never read a book that’s been through so many hands. I only buy new or use my e-reader,” she said.

I have to admit, I never thought about it. Sure, sometimes I get a book that has


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10 Responses to Does Frugality Gross You Out?

  1. Samantha says:

    I find library books fascinating. I always wonder who took it out and what that person was like, what their house would look like. I love the story their covers tell

  2. rob62521 says:

    I’m with you…love the library and will take my chances!

  3. hon says:

    I find people with the attitude expressed are pretty selective in their ‘ick’ ratings. Does she fly? Airplanes are filthy, the seats and trays are used by millions. The carpet is truly icky the gunk is just not visible. Worse yet the air is recycled so every virus imaginable is floating by.

    If her family fails to remove shoes at the door, they are trekking all the ‘filth’ from buildings and walkways into the home.

    The doctors are discouraging use of ‘waterless’ wash products as the chemicals are dangerous if ingested and have potential to reduce immunity.

  4. Jay says:

    Agree with Hon! However, sometimes it reflects a deeply imbedded feeling: DH grew up extremely poor, sharing a bed, clothes, etc. Never got new, at best it was the second hand clothing store. Years later, we walked into a thrift shop looking for vintage clothes. The look on his face was pure revulsion, and he had to leave. Clearly, and this was acknowledged, the odor alone brought back unhappy childhood memories …

  5. Julie says:

    Amy Dacyczyn has a great article on this subject entitled, “Selective Squeemishnish.”

    Does this lady eat at restaurants, try on clothing at a store, hug her child when she gets home from school, turn doornobs or go on rides at an amusement park? Americans are basically squeemish where they choose to be, and usually their choices are irrational. Particularly Amy comments on how some adults will have multiple partners for sex, yet worry about such things as where a library book has been or if their purse gets dirty sitting on the floor.

  6. Julie says:

    Oops…It was “Squeemishness.”

  7. Thad P says:

    I wonder if your neighbor ever handles cash or coins?

  8. Minny says:

    I’m with all the others. I do understand where Jay’s DH is coming from though. I have one or two wrinkles from a similar source!

  9. Gail says:

    Using cloth diapers is now in the extreme frugal arena?! 50 years ago for the most part it was the only way to diaper a baby as disposable were just coming to the forefront and weren’t that good. I used cloth diapers for my babies, nursed them and made their baby food myself. I didn’t think any of it was icky.
    well poopy diapers aren’t a whole lot of fun, but doable and I found that hanging the diapers on the line and then folding them when dry was very soothing activities and helped relieve some tension caused by dealing with little munchkins. I did these frugal things not only because they were good for my babies but also were frugal and we didn’t get welfare, WIC or food stamps so we had to make our money stretch. I only bring up welfare because when I see welfare moms wasting money on disposable diapers and bottled formula I wonder at how they can afford it, because I sure couldn’t. My MIL thought that the very thought of nursing a baby was icky and I was sent away out of the living room to feed my babies. One of the most natural things in the world–how could it be consdered icky?

    Some of these people that consider a library book to be icky needs to be sent to a third world country for a month to live. She will be eager to use a library book when she returns!

  10. Jay says:

    One reason to use disposables is no washing machine, or laudromat within reasonable distance.
    We lived on a boat for a while, and tried a service (amusing to see the guy coming onto the dock to pick up the pail) but ultimately we had little choice but to use disposables.

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