I know all to well what it is like to handle old books or books that have been somewhere that may have air fresheners or a smoker in the household. I don’t accept used books from others to read. I don’t buy books from used book stores. I was buying my books directly online and now that I have a Kindle rarely buy paperback books at all any more.
I have to worry about chemicals, dust, and molds sending me into a severe reaction. I would have to worry about these books contaminating my safe space here at home. While I did attend two years of community college (way before the age of internet and computers), there is no way I could do it today with all my allergies and sensitivities. My heart goes out to the young woman in London who suffers and for all the same reasons as I, cannot get books from a library.
Many of you are familiar with my friend Michellina at the-labyrinth who is attending the Victoria University in Australia. She has made great strides in getting accommodation for her sensitivities.