03 Jun
Do Bookworms Prefer Pulp Fiction?

The other day, while dusting, I stopped to open some of my favourite old books. As always, I was fascinated by the tiny tunnels in the pages created by voracious bookworms a long time ago. I decided this might be just yucky enough to share with my grandson the next time he came to visit.

He had heard of bookworms, but he thought they were people who liked to read. I handed him my #708 copy of Little Orphan Annie; The Big Little Book. I told him that the ravenous larvae of a particular type of beetle, which feeds on paper and glue, drilled the small holes in the stacked pages of the closed book. These beetles had devoured parts of this book years ago in his great-great grandmother's veranda. Opening the book revealed long worm-shaped tunnels reaching the print. As we talked, I gathered a few more violated books. My grandson was interested and spent several minutes looking through the collection.

While he flipped through pages, I noticed that the bookworms had feasted on several novels from the True Stories Series, two Big Little Books, a few Ladies Home Journals, and one old Shirley Temple book. Completely untouched, but from the same home, were bibles, dictionaries, and a copy of Shakespeare's works. It seemed like the larvae preferred less cultural material. Maybe the cheaper paper and glue were tastier.

Thinking back to my grandmother's home, I realized that she stored less-important books out in the veranda while more treasured books had a place of honour in the drawing-room, away from beetles and larvae.

Meanwhile, Orphan Annie has been to "show and tell" with my grandson. The dreaded book-eating worms, from a time long ago, have impressed another generation.


Comments (6)

  • Willow Kozar
    February 16, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    The book worm blog was fantastic. I can't believe that they don't eat the ink. Wormtastic!

  • Michelle Pawson
    July 10, 2013 at 03:45 pm

    We were just at a used bookstore on Vancouver Island in British Columbia where they sold a lot of estate book collections. The book worm trails were incredible to see! If only worms could talk - I am sure their life within the pages would be a juicy tale indeed!

  • Helen Davis
    June 5, 2013 at 01:16 am

    Maureen...I have always enjoyed hearing you speak....now I am lucky enough to enjoy your writing as well. Thank-you...it makes me happy...and I look forward to more.

  • Nicole Haddock Kozar
    June 4, 2013 at 06:07 pm

    Just think how those bookworms would have devoured the Twilght Series or Fifty Shades of Grey! Hee hee!! Yummy!! I enjoy that the bookworms would stop just before the print began. Margins are just a waste of space anyway, right? Why not have a snack while you read?

  • Gord Haddock
    June 4, 2013 at 05:02 pm

    Great first blog Maureen. Congratulations on your new site. It's......awesome! Hugs, Gord

  • Rauncie Kinnaird
    June 3, 2013 at 09:45 pm

    Maureen, I loved this post. I had no idea there were book worms! The boys were fascinated with this post as well. Caelan's room would be a haven for book worms. I look forward to glimpses of history, stories and ideas.

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