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To cover or not to cover

174Price tags on books, that is. I understand it’s supposed to be in very bad taste to let the recipient of a gift know how much has been paid for it. Whenever I buy a book and ask the salesperson to wrap the book up for me, they cover the price with a sticker. I know these stickers well: They are hell to remove afterwards. So I usually ask the salesperson not to use a sticker, and have received many a strange look.

I never mind knowing how much a book cost (I can look it up online any time I want to, anyway), but I do mind stickers. They soil a book, an otherwise perfect article. The older they are, the uglier they get. And the more difficult to remove: I have a bottle of really nasty-smelling, potentially poisonous dissolver which I use for books exclusively, and old stickers sometimes take minutes to scratch off even with the dissolver, which means I must breathe in the noxious fumes all that time. Yuck.

Worst are stickers on former library books. They breed like rabbits: The average book has about three of them. And they are so very ugly that I can’t really accept the book in my collection until all trace of them has been removed. More noxious fumes (and I do my cleaning books on the balcony or at the open window).175

Are you bothered by stickers on books? Do you remove them? And what do you think of stickers on books that are presents?

– Rike

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