SLIDESHOW: Hurricane preparedness for readers/idiots
by Dustin Kurtz
The key to riding out a hurricane, whether it be in Brooklyn, where we are, or in parts South, is thorough preparation. With a little bit of forethought and elbow grease, anyone can be safe and sound in all but the most powerful of storms. Anyone, that is, but you. Because while you could have been filling bathtubs and battening hatches and just generally getting the hell out of Dodge, you were reading a book. Granted, it was a pretty great book, but maybe somewhere in between the car chase and the scene where they finally give way to their animal passions, you might have looked up at the darkening sky and thought about buying a goddamned candle or something.
Fear not, dear book addict. You and we are in the same boat (maybe even literally, the way things are shaping up here). Below we show you three simple methods to help your book survive the inevitable stormy march to safety, or at least in search of a bodega that hasn’t run out of toilet paper and whatever item you choose to pair with it to disguise the fact that you really really need some toilet paper.
The problem: how to keep these babies dry.
Method 1: The Wrap
This is an easy one. Take some plastic wrap. Take a book.
Yours needn’t be a picaresque Russian classic, but it can’t hurt, eh?
You know what comes next. Wrap that sucker up.
It works best if you roll the plastic vertically around the book. Use plenty, and don’t forget the edges. This method is most useful if you really really enjoy what’s on those two pages, and are unconcerned if you can’t read every fifth word or so. I know, that’s a strange way to read a book, but you’re the person trying to read in a hurricane, so I think our understanding of “strange” is a bit malleable now, yes?
Method 2: The Cannibal
Fortunately for you, plenty of packaging in your house may already be designed to withstand elements, but to let you see the contents. Find that thing and strip it for parts. These will do.
Perfect. Note that this method keeps your hands dry AND lets you turn pages. You won’t really be able to use your hands once they’ve been installed, but then again, you’re a baby-skinned book nerd; you don’t ever use your hands for anything but exactly this.
Method 3: El Poncho
This is my own preferred tactic. It’s best because it leaves nothing between your eyeballs and the book. What you’ll need: the enormous used plastic paint dropcloth that guy left in your apartment before you moved in.
This one is dead simple, too. But that comes with the territory. The more thought you put into this, the less time you have with the book.
Step one of one: put that thing over your head like the vengeful ghost of petroleum byproducts past.
This gentleman, whoever he is, is modeling the look splendidly. The book stays dry, you stay dry, and everyone who sees you knows immediately where your priorities lie (or at least where they do not).
Master these simple techniques and you’ll be ready to face the elements with nary a care. I mean, you may want to care a bit about being swept out to sea by the goddamned hurricane blowing around you, but your book will be dry, and that’s what matters.
Dustin Kurtz is the marketing manager of Melville House, and a former bookseller.