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Opinion >  Syndicated columns

Rick Reilly: Someone hid my book at an Idaho library. So I’m bringing 10 of them to hide myself.

By Rick Reilly Special to the Washington Post

There’s a very odd thing going on in an Idaho public library.

Somebody keeps hiding the books he doesn’t want people to read. They’re mostly anti-Trump books like Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” but also an LGBTQ book and even a golf book: “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump,” written by … well … me.

He even left a clue. “I noticed a large volume of Books attacking our President,” read a note in the library’s comments box. “I don’t want this propaganda winding up in the hands of young minds.”

This surprised me for three reasons:

1. Minds have hands?

2. There are still comments boxes?

3. A hardcore Trumper went inside a library?

The IdaHider has struck many times, but, alas, he remains at large. Where is Agatha Christie when you need her?

The director of the Coeur d’Alene library, Bette Ammon, 68, is stumped. “We don’t have security or cameras or anything like that,” Bette tells me. They tried flying a camera drone above the stacks to look for books, but that didn’t work at all, perhaps because librarians should not be anywhere within a par 5 of drones.

Where does Hidaho stash the books that offend him? Sometimes they’re turned around so you can’t see the title on the spine. Sometimes they’re moved to sections where you’d never look for them. My book, which was supposed to be in Political Commentary at 973.933, was found days later by a staffer on its side behind the novelist Stuart Woods’ section.

(Speaking of woods, did you know some Trump caddies carry four-inch green tees so they can hurry ahead and tee up his ball in the rough?)

Anyway, Bette doesn’t think it’s right. “Nobody should be able to tell anybody what to read.” Ironically, this act of defiance has backfired on the culprit. “We’ve just bought more copies of the missing books.”

And if she catches the sneak? She says she will react swiftly and fiercely with the COMPLETE and TOTAL loss of library privileges. Sort of.

“Well, I’d definitely give them a warning first.” Also, there would be stern glances. “I have a glare that will curl your hair,” she admits. Do not test the librarian.

This little news story has made it all over the world and has stirred people to stand up for libraries. A woman from Germany offered to pay for replacements of all the hidden books. Another woman sent a check with the note “When I lived there, your library was my haven.”

(Speaking of donations, did you know that Trump used charity money from his foundation to pay $158,000 to a golfer at Trump Westchester because he didn’t buy the right hole-in-one insurance?)

I think what Hidaho is doing is wrong, whether a righty is hiding “Fire and Fury” or a lefty is hiding Donald Trump Jr.’s “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Whoa This Title Is Way Too Long.” Either way, it’s censorship.

That’s why, on Nov. 21, I’ll be coming to the Coeur d’Alene library with an armful of 10 of my books, which I’ll hide myself. (Your move, Hidaho.) I’ll secret away at least one book in the following sections:

  • Narcissism (155.232)
  • True Crime (364.00)
  • Horror, among others.

You can hide one of my books, Hidaho, but can you hide 10?

Then I’m going to give a little talk about this whole whodunit at 7 p.m. Besides, if the weather is nice, I thought I’d play the only floating golf green in all of golf architecture (796.350) at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

(Speaking of greens, did you know Trump almost never putts out? He’ll just pick up any putt he has inside the length of a Winnebago. You, however, need to just knock yours in, you know, for the bet.)

But then I started reading about Coeur d’Alene (978.600) and learned that it seems to have a very high percentage of white guys with guns (790.000) and was once the home of the Aryan Nation (305.100).

Soon followed a hair-raising email from a sergeant in the CdA police department telling me that he’d be escorting me “for my safety needs” that night along with three other uniformed officers.

Wait. What?

He also asked: 1. Are you bringing any sort of security team with you? 2. What problems have you encountered in past speaking events? 3. Do you have any requests?

Answers: 1. No, but I have a Sharpie; 2. One time, in Scottsdale, Ariz., an old guy in a red hat got up and walked out, but that might have been a Flomax issue; 3. Can I not do this?

No, I’m definitely coming, but a note to all locals with carry permits: There’s no shooting allowed in the library, as it is much too loud.

And murders are to be confined to section 360.00.

Rick Reilly, a former Sports Illustrated and ESPN contributor, is the author of “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.”

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