It’s not often I rave about a purchase that isn’t a language book. But I think I might have fallen in love with my latest gadget acquisition, the Philips UV-C Disinfection Box.
Language learning and automated sanitisation don’t seem like natural bedfellows, I’ll admit. But bear with me – there is a connection, I promise.
I’ve been an avid collector of vintage language books for some time now. I particularly enjoy hunting down old Teach Yourself books from decades gone by. They’re both quaint and practical. I can enjoy all the anachronisms of their stilted dialogues and translation exercises at the same time as getting a lot from the no-nonsense grammatical approach.
But, in the words of my Nan, sometimes you just don’t know where they’ve been. And, for an OCD germaphobe, that can be a problem. Of course there are lots of tips and tricks for cleaning up and restoring old books, and I use them all. But there’s that wee niggling doubt for a sensitive soul like me.
Dial ‘D’ for Disinfection
I came across UV-C disinfection techniques during the Covid-19 pandemic, where they were touted in the press as one tool that libraries, amongst other places, were using to virus-proof their returns. Just seconds of a low-power ultraviolet blast apparently kills any sign of dangerous microbes.
Wow. The cleaning freak in me was piqued. This, I thought, was an OCD-er’s dream.
Sadly, at the time, they were prohibitively expensive. Perhaps, I thought cynically, the inflated price was a result of pandemic-driven demand. Or, perhaps less cynically, it was just the premium of new(ish) technology. But in any case, I bided my time and eventually forgot about them – until they recently popped into my line of sight again.
You see, I’d added one particular model – my inner hygiene-geek’s dream model – to the Amazon price tracker site, CamelCamelCamel.com. I’d requested an alert whenever the price dropped from £170-ish to – I thought – a very unlikely £60. And guess what? It only went and did just that.
So now, I’m the proud owner of a large disinfection box. It works like a charm – you lock in your book or otherwise, press the button, and it’s blasted with a sanitising beam for a number of seconds. It destroys all bacteria and viruses in Philips’ lab tests, so they say, which gives this second-hand book buyer a huge peace of mind.
I guess this is a story about the joys of clean books, on the surface (in more ways than one). But perhaps more usefully, it’s a reminder to put your most wished-for items onto CamelCamelCamel.com!