Consumer product safety agency just ruined Read a Book Day

As you cozy up to your favorite novel for Read a Book Day, remember that danger may lurk between the covers.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Sept. 6 seemed like it would be a good day to curl up with your favorite mystery, biography or self-help book for National Read a Book Day. Unless you follow the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Twitter , in which case you're now probably paralyzed with fear every time you glance at your bookshelf. 

The government agency, known for cracking down on unsafe hoverboards, tweeted a graphic of a monstrous book with sharp teeth and stabby arms hovering over the New York City skyline. 

The message warns of 11,880 US emergency room visits in 2017 associated with (but not necessarily caused by) books.

In case you get the impression books are coming to life and fighting back against their human masters, the CPSC gets a little more specific about these reading-related tragedies, noting that injuries included being hit by books, tripping over books, dropping books on appendages, throwing books, paper cuts from books and falling books. 

The CPSC loves to be a Debbie Downer when it comes to various made-up holidays. On Wednesday, it put a damper on our fervor for Cheese Pizza Day by warning of 2,300 ER visits last year due to pizza-related mishaps.

But Read a Book Day seems to be trigger point for the USPC, which couldn't help but share a second graphic of a screaming youngster riding a flying book while being pursued by winged backpacks. 

The message here is that 7,800 kids between ages of 5 and 18 visited the emergency room in the US last year for backpack-related issues. The agency again name-checked the formerly cheery #ReadABookDay hashtag that is currently trending on Twitter.

The CPSC's imagery is engagingly surreal, and whoever runs the Twitter account is clearly having fun. The CPSC replied to an admiring Twitter comment with "We live for manufactured national holidays."

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