Shoving a taco into a library book might make it go viral on Twitter, but there are better ways to remember which page you're on.

By Mike Pomranz
September 16, 2019

No matter what your career is, you have fears. As a writer, I fear dropping my laptop down the stairs, destroying the only thing I need to do my job. Roofers might fear they’ll slip. Doctors might fear they’ll remove the wrong organ. Of course, all of these things rarely happen: Learning to minimize them is what makes you a good roofer or doctor. Instead, the scariest incidents are the ones we don’t see coming… like when you’re a librarian and you discover someone has shoved a whole taco inside of one of your books!

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As far as viral tweets go, this one is a gimmie: Over the weekend, self-described “hipster librarian” (nowadays, is there any other kind?) Amanda Mae posted to Twitter a photo of what appears to be soft taco from Taco Bell (or a similar fast food equivalent) shoved pretty precisely into the middle of a hardcover book—and ruining at least two pages of the tome in the process. “Don’t have a bookmark? Try using a taco,” Amanda wrote, before clarifying that this was an “actual photo of an actual book found in the book drop at my library in Indiana a few years back.”

The absurd image garnered plenty of attention on social media: over 55,000 likes and 11,000 retweets as of this writing. One Twitter user, @AnSotello11, even claimed to have hunted down the book, saying she believed it was Nonsense Songs and Stories by Edward Lear. Assuming that’s true, it adds an extra wrinkle to the whole thing: As you may know, Edward Lear was a famous writer, probably best known for his absurdist limericks, who often derived humor through nonsense. Though I don’t believe he ever wrote a limerick about a taco bookmark, it wouldn’t be entirely out of place in his canon.

Still, let’s make this entirely clear: Never use a taco—either soft or crunchy—as a bookmark. You are ruining—and disrespecting—two of the world’s most amazing things in the process. Books may seem trite in the age of the internet, but for thousands of years, the physically written word has been the most reliable way to transfer information between people and generations, allowing for the development of civilization. And tacos are delicious. Using a taco to desecrate a book is like using $100 bills as the kindling to burn a Van Gogh.

But let’s say you really, really needed a bookmark… Didn’t that taco come with a wrapper? Or in the most extreme case, just pull off a little bit of un-sauce-stained tortilla and use that. As if I have to say this, there’s no legitimate reason to use a taco as a bookmark. In fact, the only reason to do it is to go viral on Twitter. That, or if you think you’re some sort of modern Edward Lear of taco placement. Trust me, you’re not.

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