All About Book Collecting


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All About Book Collecting

  1. 1. Front cover image: Cornerstone Books Verso:
  2. 2. rec.collecting.books FAQ rec.collecting.books FAQ Last Modified: 01-May-01 Feedback to: (Questions about books should be directed to the newsgroup) View the Charter Sections which are new or have been modified since the last version are marked with a plus sign (+). Table of Contents q 1. General Information About REC.COLLECTING.BOOKS r + 1.1 What is REC.COLLECTING.BOOKS? r + 1.2 How Do I Participate? r 1.3 What Kind of Posts are Inappropriate? r 1.4 What Kind of Posts are Appropriate? r 1.5 Where Is the Appropriate Place To Advertise Books For Sale or Wanted To Buy? r 1.6 How Do I Advertise My Cool Website? r 1.7 How Do I Cancel a Usenet Article I Posted? q 2. Sources and Guides To Book Collecting r 2.1 What Are Some Useful Guides to Collecting? r 2.2 What Are Some Useful Online Guides to Collecting? r 2.3 What Are Some Useful Guides to Repair and Conservation? r 2.4 What Are Some Useful Price Guides? r + 2.5 Where Can I Find Conservation and Repair Supplies? r + 2.6 What Software Is Useful To The Book Collector? r 2.7 Where Can I Buy Book Display Easels? r + 2.8 Which Reference Works Would You Recommend For Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror? r 2.9 Where Can I Find a List of Bookstores in a Particular Area of the World? r + 2.10 Where Can I Find Out How to Grade the Condition of my Books? r 2.11 Where Can I Get Information About Small Press Publishers? q 3. Identifying Books r 3.1 How Do I Know If It's a First Edition? r 3.2 How Do I Recognize a Book Club Edition? r 3.3 How Do I Validate an ISBN? r 3.4 How Do I Describe the Sizes of Books? r + 3.5 How Do I Tell If An Autograph Is Authentic? file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (1 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  3. 3. rec.collecting.books FAQ r 3.6 How Do I Know If A Book Was Issued With a Dust Jacket? r + 3.7 How Can I Determine the Real Name of an Author Using a Pen Name? q 4. The Care and Feeding of Your Collection r 4.1 What Are Some Tips For The Beginning Collector? r 4.2 How Do I Protect My Collection? r 4.3 How Do I Clean My Books? r 4.4 How Do I Clean The Page Edges? r 4.5 How Do I Clean Vellum Binding? r + 4.6 How Do I Remove Pencil Marks? r 4.7 How Do I Remove a Label From a Book? r 4.8 How Do I Remove a Label From a Dust Jacket? r 4.9 How Do I Remove Crayon Marks From a Book? r 4.10 How Do I Get Rid of That "Musty Smell"? r 4.11 How Do I Get Rid Of Unwanted Odors? r + 4.12 How Do I Get Rid of Mold? r + 4.13 How Do I Get Rid of Foxing? r 4.14 What Do I Do About Bookloving Insects? r 4.15 How Do I Care For My Leather Books? r 4.16 Can I Fix A Cocked Or Slanted Spine? r 4.17 How Do I Repair a Water Damaged Book? r 4.18 Should I Remove Rusted Staples From a Pamphlet? r 4.19 How Do I Halt Paper Deterioration? r 4.20 How Do I Stop Binding Glue From Becoming Brittle? r 4.21 How Do I Pack Books When Moving? r 4.22 How Do I Get My Books Signed? r 4.23 Should I Rebind An Old Book? q 5. Book Terminology r 5.1 What is the Difference Between "First Edition" and "First Printing" r 5.2 What is the Difference Between "First Edition" and "First Trade Edition" r 5.3 What does "Second Printing Before Publication" mean? r 5.4 What is a "Deckled Edge"? r + 5.5 What Do All Those Book Terms Mean? q 6. Value Judgements r 6.1 Are Book Club Editions Valuable? r 6.2 Do Signatures Enhance Value? r 6.3 Do Dust Jackets Enhance Value? r 6.4 How Does a Remainder Mark Affect Book Value? r 6.5 Are Lower-Numbered Limited Editions More Valuable? q 7. Miscellaneous Odds and Endpapers file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (2 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  4. 4. rec.collecting.books FAQ r 7.1 Who Is Responsible For Shipping Problems? r 7.2 What Are "The Little Leather Library" Books? r 7.3 What Are "The Modern Library" Books? r 7.4 What Are "The Everyman's Library" Books? r 7.5 What Are "The Little Golden Books"? r 7.6 What Is The Earliest Known Dust Jacket? r 7.7 What Are "The Roycrofters"? r 7.8 What Are "Harlequin Romance" Books? r 7.9 What Are "Laser Books"? r 7.10 What is a "Pulp" magazine? r 7.11 What Are "McGuffy Readers"? r 7.12 Are "Literary Guild" books book club editions? r 7.13 What Are "Sample" Books? r + 7.14 What Are The Different Types of Leather Binding? q 8. Buying and Selling Books r 8.1 How Do I Sell Books On The Internet? r + 8.2 How Do I Find Books On The Internet? 1. General Information About REC.COLLECTING.BOOKS q 1.1 What is REC.COLLECTING.BOOKS? r It is an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup devoted to discussion and questions related to all aspects of book collecting. View the charter at for details. q 1.2 How Do I Participate? r The best way is probably using a dedicated UseNet program, such as are bundled with browsers or available separately. Your internet service provider can provide instructions for connecting to the newsgroup. [Mike Berro] r You can also participate in the newsgroup using your browser. Google allows you to read and post messages to the the newsgroup ("UseNet.") Rec.collecting.books is available at An introduction to UseNet is available at [Mike Berro] r Google also has a searchable archive of previous messages, so you can see what has been previously discussed. [Mike Berro] q 1.3 What Kind of Posts are Inappropriate? r Want to buy ... file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (3 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  5. 5. rec.collecting.books FAQ r For sale ... r For auction ... r For trade … r Visit my commercial website. r A list of books for sale is available from ... r All commercial messages are inappropriate for this newsgroup; use "rec.arts.books.marketplace", or one of the other marketplace newsgroups to post such messages. [Mike Berro] r Do not include images or other files in your message. Many people pay by the minute, and these sometimes take a long time to download. Instead, upload it to a website, and then post the address. [Mike Berro] r Messages that use MIME, HTML, or any other format besides plain ASCII text. [Lawrence Person] r Before participating in Usenet you should make sure that you have read at least the articles on netiquette in news.announce.newusers. r More information can be found at; "Usenet Info Center Launch Pad" at the URL: r and "Learn the Net: An Internet Guide and Tutorial, at URL: [Jon Meyers] q 1.4 What Kind of Posts are Appropriate? r Who else collects ...? r Where can I find information about ...? r Event announcements: Fairs, shows, auctions, etc. r What information about it can anyone tell me? r About how much is it worth? (Please check the major online catalogues first: see section 2.4.) r What edition do I have? r If nobody seems to be discussing what you want to talk about, post a (polite) message opening the discussion. Don't just say, "Does anyone want to talk about X" or "I really like X" however; try to have something interesting to say about the topic to get discussion going. Don't be angry or upset if no one responds. It may be that X is just a personal taste of your own, or quite obscure. Or it may be that X was discussed to death a few weeks ago, *just* before you came into the group. [Evelyn Leeper] q 1.5 Where Is the Appropriate Place To Advertise Books For Sale or Wanted To Buy? r news:rec.arts.books.marketplace r news:alt.marketplace.books r news:alt.marketplace.books.sf (speculative fiction) r Those looking to find or buy a certain book should look at one of the online bookselling databases mentioned in section 2.4. [Lawrence Person] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (4 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  6. 6. rec.collecting.books FAQ q 1.6 How Do I Advertise My Cool Website? r Add the information below your "signature". It is considered rude to just blurt out an ad, but if you join in the discussions people will see the information, and be more interested in visiting as well. q 1.7 How Do I Cancel a Usenet Article I Posted? r Most newsreaders allow you cancel your own message. The exact procedure varies depending on the software, but usually you simply highlight the message and select "cancel article" from the menu. It may take some time before the message is cancelled from every news server. r An article titled How To Cancel An Article That You've Posted is located at "". It covers many (but not all) the various newsreaders currently in use. r Recently, ISPs have been disabling the ability to cancel messages, so proofread your messages before posting them. [Mike Berro] 2. Sources and Guides To Book Collecting q 2.1 What Are Some Useful Guides to Collecting? r McBride's A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions (860) 523-7707 or (860) 523-1622 ( r Ahearn, Allen. Book Collecting: A Comprehensive Guide. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1995. [Gerard Gormley] r Bradley, Van Allen. Gold In Your Attic. New York: Fleet Publishing, 19--. [Gerard Gormley] r Bradley, Van Allen. More Gold In Your Attic. New York: Fleet Publishing, 1961. [Gerard Gormley] r Carter, John. ABC For Book Collectors. New York: Knopf, 1966. [Gerard Gormley] r Tannen, Jack. How To Identify and Collect American First Editions. New York: Arco Publishing, 1985. [Gerard Gormley] r Wilson, Robert A. Modern Book Collecting. New York: Knopf, 1980 [Gerard Gormley] r Zempel, Edward N. and Linda A. Verkler. First Editions: A Guide To Identification, Third Edition. Spoon River Press, 2319-C West Rohmann, Peoria, Il 61604, phone (309) 672- 2665, fax (309) 672-7853. [Gerard Gormley] r Muir, P. H. Book Collecting as a Hobby: In a Series of Letters to Everyman, Knopf 1947. [Ken MacIver] r Ellis, Ian C. Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare Books, 1996. [Ken MacIver] r Van Wingen, Peter. Your Old Books at, from a pamphlet for the Association of College and Research Libraries. [Mike Berro] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (5 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  7. 7. rec.collecting.books FAQ q 2.2 What Are Some Useful Online Guides to Collecting? r The Essentials of Book Collecting at [Mike Berro] r Books and Book Collecting at [Mike Berro] r Litera Scripta at Resources for readers, rare book collectors, and used booksellers. [Deanna Ramsey] r I have a URL for Digital Librarian where links to a vast and diverse array of book related information are available: [Alana Martin] q 2.3 What Are Some Useful Guides to Repair and Conservation? r Johnson, Arthur W., The Practical Guide to Book Repair and Conservation ISBN 0-500- 01454-X published by Thames and Hudson, 30 Bloomsbury Street, London England WCIB 3QP r Conservation OnLine [CoOL], Resources for Conservation Professionals, a project of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries at r Here is a Library of Congress website for FAQs regarding the preservation of books: [John P. Giunta] r Cleaning and Caring For Books, R.L.Shep, Sheppard Press Ltd, 1982. [Richard Weaver] r Two good sources of information are (CoOL--Conservation OnLine, at Stanford University Libraries) and (SOLINET's Preservation Services.) [Jon Meyers] r The Thames and Hudson Manual of Bookbinding by Arthur W. Johnson, wherein can be found much useful information on bookbinding in general, with a chapter on making boxes (slipcases, clamshell, etc.). First published 1978, Thames and Hudson Ltd., London. First published in USA in paperback 1981, reprinted 1992. Library of Congress catalog # 81- 50759. ISBN 0-500-68011-6. It should be available on order from your favorite bookstore. [Greg Teegarden] q 2.4 What Are Some Useful Price Guides? r Ahearn, Allen & Patricia. Collected Books: The Guide to Values, 1998 Edition (Putnam, 1997). [Jon Meyers] r Huxford's Old Book Value Guide, Ninth Edition (Collector Books, 1997). Huxford's is a particularly good value source for low- to mid-priced books and genre fiction, although the bibliographic information is often sketchy; the Tenth Edition is forthcoming sometime this year. [Jon Meyers] r Seaching catalogs on the internet can be useful. There are many places to do so. MX BookFinder at searches many websites at once. [Jon Meyers] r Reviews of over 40 book price guides and a few other key reference works are now online at my web site "". [Seth Steingraph] q 2.5 Where Can I Find Conservation and Repair Supplies? file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (6 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  8. 8. rec.collecting.books FAQ r University Products at "", 800-762-1165 r Brodart at "", 800-233-8467 r Gaylord at "". r Demco at "". r Bill Cole Enterprises at "". [Mike Berro] r Vernon Library Supplies at "". [Mike Berro] r Light Impressions at "". [Mike Berro] r For the UK, try D&M Packaging at They stock a range of book-care materials and supply trade and private customers with no minimum order. [Liz Palmer] r Bill Cole Enterprises at q 2.6 What Software Is Useful To The Book Collector? r FileMaker Pro (Mac and Windows) is a wonderful program. It allows you to start pretty much right away without knowing an awful lot about the program and then to "upgrade" your catalog gradually while you learn more about it. Eventually you can create a really sophisticated databank. I know of no limitations. Best of all, the documents can also be read by Windows users. [K. Loock] r Steve Trussel's site at lists many software products for both collectors and dealers. [Mike Berro] r Readerware from is great for beginners who will need to enter a lot of books initially. [LeeF] q 2.7 Where Can I Buy Book Display Easels? r I use common plate display holders. The only problem is the curved bottoms, which bends the bottoms of some books, so I use them mostly for pamphlets (which are otherwise invisible in a bookshelf.) If I had some skill at woodworking, it would be easy to flatten the bottoms. The book conservation companies listed in the FAQ have them in their catalogs. Gaylord has some beautiful plexiglass ones from $120 to $260 each (which is why I use the nice $4 plate holders.) [Mike Berro] r I bought some nice plexiglass ones from a book dealer in Chicago. I paid less than $5 each for them. However, he wasn't really selling them; he said he buys them in bulk from some company, and uses them in his shop. [Susan Hales] r Try a kitchen store, or the kitchen gadget dept in most stores like Target. They make cookbook holders in wood and plexiglass that would be ideal to display your books. [Theresa Meyer] r I purchased some metal easels specifically for books at an art supply store (Aaron Brothers) for under $5 each. [Mike Berro] q 2.8 Which Reference Works Would You Recommend For Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror? file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (7 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  9. 9. rec.collecting.books FAQ r Clute & Nichols, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 1993 St. Martins, 1370 pages. Hard back $75. Paperback updated 1995. $29.95. Illustrated CD ROM available from Grolier for Mac and Windoze. An indispensable reference book on science fiction that contains over 4,300 entries and 1.2 million words. For every reader who loves, uses and wishes to know more about science fiction, this is the first and most important reference you should get. Has publication dates and title changes only with no other first edition ID information. Unlike the 1979 edition, the book is not illustrated and there are no magazine checklists. [Shep Iiams] r Currey Lloyd, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of Their First Editions, 1979, G. K. Hall. Covers roughly 215 important authors thru December 1977, reference citations thru June 1979. Although perhaps the most important, thorough and accurate guide to identification of first editions, it if far from complete or accurate. For instance it is very easy to misidentify the first edition of Heinlein's STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by Currey's less than complete description. There are almost no cover/dust jacket prices or page counts mentioned excepting paperbacks. $75 from author at (518) 873-6477. [Shep Iiams] r Tuck, Donald, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, 1974 Advent. Out of print. A three volume encyclopedia current thru 1968. The bulk of vol. 1 & 2 consist of short author biographies with extensive book bibliographies which include many authors and descriptive items not found in the more recent Currey bibliography such as cover prices, page counts, later and foreign editions. [Shep Iiams] r Reginald, R. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Checklist 1700 - 1974. Gale Research. vol. 1 is 786 pages. Perhaps the most comprehensive printed listing of it's kind, Reginald attempts to identify all first and first thus editions thru 1974, but only contains date, publisher, page count, hardback/paperback information. No cover price or other identifying point information included. Includes - by title, series, award, Ace and Belmont doubles indexes. Vol. 2 Short biographies including original author comments and 32 page B&W "Pictorial History of Science Fiction Publishing". Out of print. [Shep Iiams] r Reginald, R. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature 1975-91: Supplement 1992 Gale Research $199.00 Attempts to identify all first and first thus editions 1975 thru 1991, but only contains date, publisher, page count, hardback/paperback information. No cover price or other identifying point information included. [Shep Iiams] r Stephens, Christopher P. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Paperback First Edition: A Complete List of Them All (1939 - 1973). Ultramarine 1991, 8 1/2 x 11 wraps, 144 pages. $22.95 (914)-478-2522 By author listings with a title index. Includes publisher ID numbers, cover price, page count, and illustrators. [Shep Iiams] r Tymn, Marshall B. and Mike Ashley, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines. 1985 Greenwood Press, 970 pages, $95 A comprehensive critical description of over 600 main stream magazines, associated magazine-like anthologies, academic periodicals, major fanzines and non-English language magazines. Critical descriptive essays are 1/2 to 40 pages. Includes bibliographies of source information and primary library holdings; a concise publication history with the dates of title changes, size and format changes, volume data, publisher changes, editorial changes, and issue price. Includes file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (8 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  10. 10. rec.collecting.books FAQ index to several hundred major cover artists; and a chronology of magazines started by year. [Shep Iiams] r Day, Donald, Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1926 - 1950, 1952 Perri Press, out of print. All major SF magazines but no Horror such as WEIRD TALES. By author and title with pseudonyms, but no index by index. [Shep Iiams] r Strauss, Erwin Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1951-1965, 1966 MIT Science Fiction Society. Author, Title and Issue indexes with a check list of magazines indexed. [Shep Iiams] r Index to the Science Fiction Magazines 1966 - 1970, 1971, ... 1989, beginning 1971 the New England Science Fiction Association published a number of SF magazine indexes. Author, Title and Issue indexes with a check list of magazines indexed. [Shep Iiams] r Barron, Neil Anatomy of Wonder: A Critical Guide to Science Fiction 4th edition, 1995, R. K. Bowker, 912 pages. $55 Contains no 1st edition or price information whatsoever. This is THE guide of what to read or films to see. Revised and updated edition has concise summaries and evaluations of some 2,100 works of fiction and over 800 works of non fiction published from the genre's beginnings to the present. Includes listings of films based on SF novels and short stories, guidance to books on video and audio tape, public and private research libraries SF magazines, comics, and art. Excludes foreign language SF. (See 3rd (1987) edition for most comprehensive guide to foreign SF). [Shep Iiams] r Inter-Galactic Price Guide 2nd edition. Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror by Stephanie Howlett-West. All data from 1996 thru Feburary 1997. The ONLY current price guide to books by modern and classic Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror authors. This 8 1/2 by 11, 386 page book has aprox. 20,000 entries. A compilation of 65 catalogs over the year from 28 different dealers, spiral bound with laminated covers and includes a detailed introduction. There are multiple listings for many titles. Entries are coded for condition, signed, inscribed, limited, ARC, Proof, association, etc. Duplicate price entries have been culled. Cover price $38. [Shep Iiams] r A Comprehensive Price List of Crime, Mystery, Thriller Detective and Horror Fiction, 1997 edition. By Marshall Snow. Containing over 800 pages and 55,000 entries of different books in 2 massive comb bound volumes, it is an amazingly complete listing derived from over 350 different dealers catalogs, AB Bookman Weekly ads, Interloc (now Alibris) and Bibliofind internet databases. Each book title generally has only one entry with a range of prices seen for collectible condition copies ie.( $35 - $55), There are repeat title listings for significantly different issues of the same book, such as signed, limited, ARC, proof or a seriously skewed high price which could indicate rapid appreciation. Titles are listed in date published order under the author's name so you can generally see the price appreciation or exceptions within a linear progression. Inclusion of pseudonyms, series characters and the books they appear in, makes for the most comprehensive check list available in this price range. NEW this year is the inclusion of the Horror genre with almost a 50% increase in size. There is now a separate list of anthologies by title and increased listings of adventure author's such as Patrick O'Brien, C. S. Forester and Alexander Kent. Cover price $95. [Shep Iiams] r I would also add the Locus online database at file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (9 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  11. 11. rec.collecting.books FAQ [Lawrence Person] r In addition, you can find a list of antiquarian fantasy and early horror reference works at [Lawrence Person] q 2.9 Where Can I Find a List of Bookstores in a Particular Area of the World? r A comprehensive list of bookstores all over the world is maintained by Evelyn C. Leeper at [Mike Berro] r Note that bookstores and bookdealers are not the same thing, and different guides list one, the other, or both. [Richard Weaver] r SKOOB Directory of Secondhand Bookshops in the British Isles, SKOOB Books Ltd., 15 Sicilian Ave, Southhampton Row, Holborn, London WC1A 2QH, UK. [Richard Weaver] r Sheppard Press (London): publishes (or used to publish) directories of bookdealers in British Isles, Europe, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, USA. [Richard Weaver] r Book Hunter Press, which publishes the Used Book Lover's Guides at [Susan Siegel] q 2.10 Where Can I Find Out How to Grade the Condition of my Books? r Try [Dick Stephens] r^_pr=glossary. [Parmer Books] r [Scot Kamins] q 2.11 Where Can I Get Information About Small Press Publishers? r Small Press Center, representing several dozen publishers, including Ash Tree. [Jon Meyers] r Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, representing 68 independent presses. [Jon Meyers] r Yahoo's listing of small literary presses. [Jon Meyers] r Lisitngs from the '98-'99 Book Arts Directory. [Jon Meyers] r Another long list of publishers, subdivided by specialties. [Jon Meyers] r Another list. [Jon Meyers] r And another. [Jon Meyers] r Still another. [Jon Meyers] r I came across another relevant site in the latest New Yorker: Small Press Distribution, which represents more than 500 independent presses & works in partnership with Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, an organization I mentioned in my earlier post. The SPD storefront is here: The links page, with links to some of the presses & other small-press info sources, is here: [Jon Meyers] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (10 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  12. 12. rec.collecting.books FAQ 3. Identifying Books q 3.1 How Do I Know If It's a First Edition? r Identifying a first edition is often the most difficult aspect of collecting books. You are welcome to ask about specific books on the newsgroup, but it can be beneficial to purchase a guide to identification. r One of the keys is to verify that the book is at least a first printing. A "number line" on the copyright page often indicates this, with the lowest number being the printing (with Random House and subsidiaries being a major exception, subtract one from the lowest number for the printing.) If you see "1 2 3 4 5 78 77 76 75 74", this indicates a first printing, and in 1974. [Mike Berro] q 3.2 How Do I Recognize a Book Club Edition? r There was a time when bookclub editions were easily identified. They were smaller, looked cheap, were lighter in weight, and were usually marked "Bookclub Edition" on the dust jacket. Now bookclubs try hard to disguise their editions, and with original editions getting junkier by the year, there's often little apparent difference between the two. It's quite common for bookclub editions to use the original publishers' first-edition negatives or printing plates. According to Wilson (p. 111), many book club editions (bce's) are supplied by the original publishers in identical format (I take it this means with the same binding and paper?). Either way, book club editions can bear "First Edition" on their copyright-pages. [Gerard Gormley] r Some bookclub editions even have prices on the dust jackets, though this is uncommon. Increasingly common is the original edition with no price on the dust jacket. This is said to enable bookstores to do their own pricing. It also helps to hide bookclub editions, but this is probably incidental. [Gerard Gormley] r If you find a circle, square, maple leaf, dot, or star blind-stamped on the bottom right of the outside back cover, it's a Book of the Month Club (BOMC) edition. The great majority, but not all, BOMC books are so stamped. BOMC has been doing this since 1948 or 1949. BOMC books published prior to that time are difficult to distinguish from true first editions (as are their more recent books). [Gerard Gormley] r Literary Guild shows no identification on book, only on dust jacket. [Ahearn states on p. 46 that Literary Guild is identified on spine and title page. Such books must be uncommon, for I have yet to find any Literary Guild (see 7.11) identification on any book or dust jacket.] Tanner says that no book club edition is considered a first, but people are selling book club firsts, albeit at reduced prices. [Gerard Gormley] r I've seen a great many Literary Guild books that were clearly marked on both the book and the dustjacket as LG editions. As I write this, I'm looking at a copy of "The Journal of Arnold Bennet" (1933, no dj) that states "Literary Guild" on the spine and the title page. It is likely that newer LG books, like newer BOMC books, are not explicitly marked as such. [Gerard GormleyJon Meyers] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (11 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  13. 13. rec.collecting.books FAQ q 3.3 How Do I Validate an ISBN? r You have to multiply the digits with their position, disregarding the dashes, and then divide by 11. Example: 3-472-61516-8 yields 3 + 4*2 + 7*3 + 2*4 + 6*5 + 1*6 + 5*7 + 1*8 + 6*9 = 173 and 173 - (15*11) = 8. [Christian Pree] r When ISBN was introduced (in German pocket books about 1972/73), a remarkable number of ISBNs had wrong validation digits, at least in German pocket books. [Christian Pree] r The importance of ISBN is declining and as far as I know will be replaced with a new system, because ISBN does not fit into EAN (barcode) and is therefore not machine readable. In Germany (and other countries that utilize EAN13), an ISBN can be easily translated into EAN: Remove the validation digit, add 978 at the beginning and a new validation number at the end. For example, ISBN: 3-453-09982-6 yields EAN: 9783453099821 [Christian Pree] r By the way, ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number (at least in the English- speaking part of the world), and Internationale Standard Buch-Nummer (for the German speaking part of the world.) EAN stands for Europaeische Artikel-Numerierung, roughly translated as European Article Numbering System. EAN is an international system for the identification of articles, used throughout the market for consumer goods, so for example cash registers in the supermarket can identify products via scanner and automatically register product and price. You find the number on almost every product as a number and a barcode. I don't know if the same system is used in USA. [Christian Pree] r "EAN" stands for "European Article Number", the most widely-used standard for product numbering in Europe and many other parts of the world (but not, of course, in the U.S., who have to be different). Commonly-used forms are the 8-digit EAN8 (usually used for company-internal product codes and therefore not guaranteed to be unique) and 13-digit EAN13 (unique to a product). It is, incidentally, possible to derive a book's EAN13 from its ISBN: stick "978" on the front, then re-calculate the last (check) digit. [Andy Key] q 3.4 How Do I Describe the Sizes of Books? r There seems to be some confusion here. A lot of booksellers and even librarians (many of whom should really know better) tend to talk about these three terms as though they refer to specific sizes. Historically, they don't. They refer to the way that books are printed and bound. A folio puts two pages on each side of one sheet of paper (a single sheet of with two pages on it is called a leaf). When you print a quarto, you put four pages on each side of a leaf, so that 8 pages are printed on one sheet of paper. Today, giant presses are used to print folio-sized books many pages at a time, of course. [Christopher G. Mullin] r There seems to be particular confusion over the term "octavo." An octavo was never 8 pages printed on a leaf. It was (and sometimes still is) 8 pages printed on *EACH SIDE* of a leaf, or 16 pages printed on one sheet of paper. This bundle of (in this case) 16 pages is called a signature. A signature can be as few as 4 pages in the case of a quarto. Many modern paperbacks have 48-page signatures. Basically, 8, 12, and 24 leaves are the most file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (12 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  14. 14. rec.collecting.books FAQ common number to be printed on a single sheet of paper. [Christopher G. Mullin] r You fold the signatures of a book, trim off the edges, and then (traditionally) you sew the signatures together. These days, paperback are just glued along the spine, but as we all know the pages tend to come out. A sewn book, OTOH, will last through hundreds of years of intermittent use. [Christopher G. Mullin] r Since there were certain standard paper sizes in the book trade, various specific sizes of book became more or less standard-- royal octavo, crown octavo, demi-octavo, etc. There are even special rulers that you can use to measure your books and call them by these traditional name, if you like. [Christopher G. Mullin] r But... for clarity of description, don't try to tell someone you have a royal octavo (or whatever). Mostly, people won't know what that means, And it's probably not really true anyway. Most modern "octavo" books are printed with 24-page signatures. Instead, as libraries worldwide do, measure the height of your book in centimeters, and the width too, if that's greater than the height. With a little practice, you can judge the height of every book you see within a centimeter or so. [Christopher G. Mullin] r If you're really serious about describing a book printed before 1800, then you list exactly how many signatures there are, and how many pages there are in each-- frequently there were a mixture of 16-page and 4-page signatures in octavos printed the handpress era. Look at Fredson Bowers 500-page book Principles of Bibliographical Description if you want to understand how complicated this can get. [Christopher G. Mullin] q 3.5 How Do I Tell If An Autograph Is Authentic? r The best method is to compare the sig you have with a verified one. Many of the websites that are dedicated to particular authors (such as my own) have a sample of the author's signature. [Mike Berro] r There are dealers who specialize in signed material; you should take your book to one of them. [Ken MacIver] r The Sanders Price Guide to Autographs, Alexander Books, 1997 (4th Ed.), $24.95 USA, $33.25 Canada. Includes alphabetical listings, 3 different value levels (straight sig., signed letter/document, signed letter in author's hand, etc.), and reproductions of 100s of signatures. [Gerard Gormley] r Try and [Lawrence Person] q 3.6 How Do I Know If A Book Was Issued With a Dust Jacket? r You should assume that any book published in the 20th century had a DJ. The burden should be on the seller to show otherwise. [Ken MacIver] r I would say that from what I've seen and read, books published after 1930 can be expected to come with a jacket or be priced accordingly, books between 1915 and 1930 were not always published with a jacket and should be considered scarce, jackets before 1915 should be framed, well priced expensively. Most books in the SF and fantasy fields did not have jackets prior to 1915. [John Langford] r The major exceptions are the specially bound books, often limited editions. If a book is file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (13 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  15. 15. rec.collecting.books FAQ bound in real leather, there's a good chance it was not issued with a dust jacket, although it might have been issued with a slipcase. [Mike Berro] q 3.7 How Can I Determine the Real Name of an Author Using a Pen Name? r Try [Steve Trussel] r Try (though the Java sound applet is VERY annoying.) [Lawrence Person] 4. The Care and Feeding of Your Collection q 4.1 What Are Some Tips For The Beginning Collector? r Decide what you'd like to collect (certain writer(s), topics, illustrators, colors, etc.--see thread on "collecting categories") [John Soward Bayne] r Buy the best condition books you can find and afford. [John Soward Bayne] r Buy copies of any two of the following and read them: Robert Wilson, Modern Book Collecting; Allan & Patricia Ahearn, Book Collecting; William Rees-Mogg, How to Buy Rare Books, and for your permanent collection, John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors. r I presume you have subjects or authors that already interest you. If you don't already have First Editions of those titles, they're the ones to start with. You'll want to begin to develop relationships with a few book dealers that can help you build your collection. A collection grows and changes over its life, just as the collector does. Collect what you enjoy and don't worry about financial gain. Those who come in just for the money have ruined too many hobbies already. [Steve A. Thompson] r One thing you'll need to do is rid yourself of the belief that just because a book says "First Edition" it must be important or valuable. How many of us have heard that from a non- collector looking to sell books: "It must be worth a lot of money, because it's a First Edition." Well, every book has a First Edition; for many, it's the only edition. In fact, if publishers had their way, there would only be First Editions, at least for fiction. As far as they're concerned, a second edition (or even second printing) means the extra cost of going back to press, because they didn't accurately gauge the demand for the book. After all, the publisher never makes any money on future price increase for First Editions of an author's books. [Steve A. Thompson] q 4.2 How Do I Protect My Collection? r If the spines are yellowing or fading, get your books out of the sun. Sunlight will bleach dust jackets, and do bad things to leather bound books as well. To avoid chipping, use mylar covers, such as many on this group have advocated, available from Bro-dart, Gaylord, University Products, etc. They should work better than plastic bags particularly if you want to actually pull the books out and look at them from time to time. To combat dust, put the books in a book case with a glass front or glass fronted doors. Sometimes you can find them for reasonable prices. That also keeps the cats off the books. Dust that is on the file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (14 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  16. 16. rec.collecting.books FAQ books may be blown off or gently brushed off with a clean large watercolor or paste brush; I often hold the book firmly between the knees with the top edge facing down (vertically) and brush off dust. And in general, try to avoid high humidity, huge temperature swings, and even if they are well protected take a look at them every now and then to make sure some insidious insect hasn't breached your defenses. [Alyce B. Obvious] r The library supply sources like Brodart, Gaylord and University Products sell "buffered" (acid-neutralized) paper and cardboard of all types. I bought some nice sturdy buffered boxes from Gaylord that are the perfect size for paperbacks; I use them for ephemera and manuscripts as well. [Mike Berro] r No treatment can reverse the affect of the aging, but spray deacidification is your best option to slow down the effects of aging on woodpulp paper. There are currently two products available, Wei T'O and Bookkeeper. Of the two, Bookkeeper is the best for your type of paper. It also has the added advantage of being non-toxic and proven safe on inks... just in case the books have inscriptions. To be safe though, always test first by putting a drop on any ink you may think suspect. Gaylord (1-800-448-6160) sells the Bookkeeper in a 38oz pump spray bottle and 16oz aerosol can. The 38oz is far more economical. It sells for $82.95. Catalog #YA-PT38. Other vendors also carry the same product. When spraying you will want to thoroughly wet the pages, but not so that the fluid runs down the page. Just spray, turn, spray, turn.... Pages will dry on their own relatively quickly. Depending on the size of your collection, and budget, you might want to contact Bookkeeper directly. They will process larger batches (multiples of 8). Their web address is http://www.bookkeeper- None of this, however, will reverse the effects of embrittlement and discoloration to the paper. It will, however, slow down the effect of further deterioration. Not much we can do about using newsprint... for printing books. [Peter D. Verheyen] r The manufacturing process that results in acidic papers & cardboards uses bleaches to even out the colors (& to reduce destructive lignin) & acidic alum or rosin to bind the paper. The majority of regular paper is now manufactured without these acidic bonding agents, so that acid neutral papers are presently "the norm" rather than a specialized product. But one has to be more careful selecting cardboard products which still sometimes use acidic bonding agents, especially if there is a lot of recycled content in the boxes. The addition of buffering agents is supposed to neutralize the bonding agents PLUS keep the box from being acidified by contact with acidic environment or content. I'm surprised if the Brodart product still reads acidic when tested, & don't quite know what to make of that, except that effective testing for acid in paper is just a tad too complex to be reduced to a "pen tester" & perhaps the tester is worthless, but I've never even held one so can't say for sure. No museum archivist recommends pen testers but I've never seen them specifically dissed either. [paghat the ratgirl] r Some of the claims made for "archival boxes" which claims are used to justify tripling & quadrupling the price of a box, are actually misleading since so many of the boxes you can get at any ordinary box supplier for an ordinary price are in fact high pH acid-neutralized. Today most NEW (unrecycled) corrugated board is neutral/high pH because no longer manufactured with rosin & alum sizing, & white boxes won't have lignin either; presumably pulps & jute not treated to neutralize lignin are most more apt to be brownest file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (15 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  17. 17. rec.collecting.books FAQ cardboards, & white cardboards are either not manufactured from sources with lignin or have had the lignin neutralized in the bleaching process -- but nowadays color of the corrugation is not a reliable measure & it's preferable to see a statement of pH level which should be 8.5 or above. Lignin removal is in direct proportion to the amount of chlorine applied during the "cooking" process & the length of cooking time, which may or may not result in a whiter product. A bland statement of "Archival quality" should always mean there is a high pH to neutralize acid AND lack of lignin -- but if it does not also claim to be "buffered" the paper could still become acidic from contact with whatever is put inside it. [paghat the ratgirl] r The Paige Company (phone 1-800-957-2443) manufactures a so-called "acid free" (buffered to pH 8 to 10) brown corrugated cardboard box in three sizes that meets museum criteria. They call it the "Paige Miracle Box." But ANY sizeable box retailer -- here in Seattle that includes The Paper Zone, Western paper, & Arvey Paper -- will have similar boxes available. I'd be inclined to select high pH boxes that did not require buffers for anything being stored less than two years, as the boxes are just as safe as buffered boxes but not expensive like buffered boxes. But as museums think the buffered product is best & even these some museums will replace at ten year intervals under the assumption that environmental contamination will acidify even buffered boxes eventually. [paghat the ratgirl] r Perma/Dur brand bulk storage boxes are lignin-free due to the cooking process, & neutral/high pH because not using acidic sizing. But they ADDITIONALLY include buffering agents not because the boxes need it, but because paper or textile products put inside the boxes will likely be acidic, & the buffering neutralizes airborne & contact- exchange of acids. They're pricey boxes. There are also polypropylene boxes such as manufactured by Coroplast; they are archivally safe. [paghat the ratgirl] r Since books & papers are going to be far more acidic than the boxes in most cases, it verges on absurd to put, say, a book printed on neutral acid high pH paper in a box with a bunch of yellowing old tomes. For really lengthy storage, each book would need to be in Mylar bags to restrict exchange of acid molecules between different items inside the box. Some archivists hold that even Mylar has its problems because moisture can get in but not out of a sealed Mylar bag. They recommend wrapping books individually in 100% rag paper, especially if the binding incorporates leather which otherwise attracts moisture when sealed in Mylar. [paghat the ratgirl] r Here's a fact sheet on Archival 101: Here's a web page on boxed storage of books: Here's an essay on safe book storage: Here's an archival FAQ including addresses of four archival suppliers: services/library/handout.htm. There's also an archival storage e-list & used to subscribe to, but I couldn't just now find the e-mail address of the woman who started that up. If you can lay hands on David Oliphant, editor, ESSAYS ON TREATMENT & CARE OF RARE BOOKS MANUSCRIPTS PHOTOGRAPHY & ART ON PAPER & CANVAS (Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, 1989) it is worth having about. Also, Gaylord file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (16 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  18. 18. rec.collecting.books FAQ will provide FREE factual pamphlets on many of these topics. [paghat the ratgirl] q 4.3 How Do I Clean My Books? r I have found that lighter fluid is a great way to clean dust jackets. It is a great solvent. Just don't smoke while you're cleaning! [Michael Hurey] r My feeling is always to stay away from products such as Backus Bookcloth Cleaner. It does clean bookcloth and especially illustrated bookcloth very well .....but for only about 12 months. Then you have to clean it all over again. Each application seems to fade the cover a little bit. It is much favoured by some dealers in the United Kingdom and I recommend that British readers of this newsgroup buy some so they can recognize the smell of it. [John- Henry Collinson] r I stumbled across ABSORENE paper & book cleaner when someone recommended it to kill the musty smell on books. It's really good for cleaning off surface dirt on both cloth books and djs. Maybe it's my imagination but it seems to brighten up the books. [Jane R.] r I use a product called "AFTA" which is a cleaner, degreaser and adhesive remover. Works great but practice first to find out how much to use (a little goes a long way!) [Hardyboy] q 4.4 How Do I Clean The Page Edges? r Try a product available from Lineco Archival Products here in US - Document Cleaning Pad; it's a bag of eraser crumbs, really, but works wonders - available through Light Impressions, Highsmith, or Brodart, or try an art supply store q 4.5 How Do I Clean Vellum Binding? r Milk and cotton wool. Moisten the cotton wool and rub the vellum gently but firmly. [Jerry Byrne] q 4.6 How Do I Remove Pencil Marks? r My favorite is an Eberhard Faber Magic-Rub, a white vinyl eraser intended for non- abrasive, non-smudging use on drafting film. I prefer the pencil-shaped to the block, because I find the former more comfortable to handle. There are, I think, several varieties & brands of white vinyl erasers that would all work well, and I've also heard that kneaded rubber erasers do a good job, though I haven't tried them myself. [Jon Meyers] r I use a Pierce electric erasor, purchased in an art supply store. Because it's electric, you can adjust the pressure with your hand. I've never thinned a page since I started using it. [Scot Kamins] r My favorite eraser is a Staedtler Mars Plastic, stock no. 52650. I have found it to be very effective and kind to the paper. It even works well on colored endpapers, when applied gently. [Denise Enck] r I use another Eberhard Faber product, "Star Type Cleaner". It is a play-dough like product. You don't use to rub, but more like blotting -just roll it over the marks to pick up the penciling. Blue, not white. [Dick Weaver] r I just stumbled onto this page:, "Surface Cleaning of Paper," from the Northeast Document Conservation Center. This discusses overall file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (17 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  19. 19. rec.collecting.books FAQ cleaning of larger areas, rather than removing small marks, but still some possibly useful info here. [Jon Meyers] r Here's my report on my first effort at cleaning up penciled-in prices. Last week I visited my local art emporium and bought several erasers. From the recommendations in this thread, I bought a Sanford magic Rub (this apparently is the same thing as Eberhard Faber) and a Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser. I asked for Star Type Cleaner, but they didn't have it, although one of the sales people had heard of it and said it was on order. On another sales person's recommendation I got a square of stuff called Design Kneaded Rubber, which feels similar to modeling clay, but is softer and a little crumbly. Tonight I tried various combinations of the three erasers on a half dozen books with various ages and types of paper. I had similar results with all three: about 95% of the pencil mark came off like magic; the next 4% took an ungodly amount of rubbing; and the last 1% never came out. Applying a lot of pressure seemed to help, and had no ill effects on the paper -- not even on a heavily yellowed and foxed flyleaf in a book that is 80 years old. The Magic Rub and the Mars Plastic both acquired a dark residue on the part that was in contact with the book. This created an interesting conundrum: after using the eraser to clean the book, what can I use to clean the eraser? The marks did not smear onto later work, but I wonder whether they reduced the erasers' effectiveness. The Kneaded Rubber didn't build up a residue. I think that is because it's so soft: the rubbing action makes the material "flow" from the surface to the interior, carrying the pencil traces with it. For this reason, and because it created no crumbs, I liked the Kneaded Rubber best. All three erasers seemed about equally effective on most surfaces. On very soft (pulp) paper the Kneaded Rubber seemed to be less effective than the other two. On very hard (coated) paper, it seemed more effective. At this point I'm most interested in finding more effective ways to remove that last 5% of the marking. I tried slipping a manila folder under the page I was working on, on the theory that the pencil made an impression in the paper, and a rigid backing would make it flatten out again when I pressed the eraser down. This seemed to help, but I may just have thought it did because that was what I expected and wanted. I wanted to try the same experiment with a sheet of metal or rigid plastic, but I had nothing on hand that was a suitable size and thickness and had rounded edges and corners. [Jonathan Sachs] q 4.7 How Do I Remove a Label From a Book? r I have successfully remove things glued to books with a mixture of flour and water. Simply mix enough enough flour into the water to keep it from flowing when it is poured onto a surface. Then use a small paint brush to generously coat the paper that is being removed. Usually, within 15-20 mins, the water soluable glue will soften and the unwanted paper can be peeled off. (Please don't try this on a valuable book for your first attempt! Practice on a cheap ex-lib book first). [Rick J. Gunter] r There is a liquid called "stamp lift" that is available from Stamp shops and stamp mongers at antique fairs. We have had some success using it to lift bookplates. The problem is that different glues need different solutions. Another source of bookplate lift is bookbinder suppliers. 17th, 18th, and 19th century bookplates tend to lift more easily than late 20th file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (18 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  20. 20. rec.collecting.books FAQ century ones because they were using friendlier glues. Steaming doth murder books. [John- Henry Collinson] r In a well-ventilated place, spray it with lighter fluid (Ronsonal), wait five seconds, gently rub with a cloth or cotton ball (or cotton flat, which I find works best). I've used this technique literally hundreds of times without a problem: the excess fluid evaporates in a few minutes and leaves no residue. [Scot Kamins] r A number of years ago I had come across a product called Bob's Book Plate Remover. According to the label, it was made with what they called "Wetter Water". Wetter water, or wet water, is actually a common product in model building. It is made by adding a few drops of detergent (liquid dish detergent works well) to water. The detergent helps break down the surface tension in the water. Don't know if this will work on bookplates, but if you can't find the Bob's product, it's worth a try. r I've used lighter fluid on old toy boxes, cloth covered books, paper dust jackets, and anything else with a price tag or gluey residue. I've never had any damage or staining. [Kris Baker] r Don't buy lighter fluid. Go to a hardware store and buy naptha. Its what lighter fluid is. Only cheaper. Also sold as rubber cement thinner. About $2/qt. [Charles Kroon] r I've used lighter fluid safely as well, but I was reminded of a janitor trying to get gum out of a carpet by freezing it. Sometimes they use an aerosol can of FREON, sometimes dry ice, sometimes a tuna can with ice in it. The idea is to get the gum brittle. I've never tried it on books. [Wm Seán Glen] q 4.8 How Do I Remove a Label From a Dust Jacket? r Removing labels is often quite simple. I apply a hot iron for a moment to heat the label. This loosens the glue and often, but not always, the label can be removed very cleanly. To supplement the iron, try using cigarette lighter fluid (naphta), which helps get rid of any sticky residue. Once cleaned up, many up ex-lib books become much easier to sell. It's amazing what a few minute touchup will do. Yes, you must still declare the book ex-lib when selling. [Seth Steingraph] r I use mineral spirits. Less flammable and, to my knowledge, equally effective. In cases where the heat of an iron might risk damage, I dab mineral spirits onto the label until it loosens the adhesive. I tried a product called Goo Gone, but found that it dulled the DJ. If possible, I remove a sticker with an X-acto knife (broad, rounded blade), getting gently under it with the blade till I have it started, then peeling slooooowly off with my fingers. To loosen a really stubborn sticker, I soak it with a q-tip saturated with spirits, wait a minute, then remove. I clean up any residual stickiness with a paper towel wetted in mineral spirits. The same paper towel will remove the odd bits of sticky material that we find on many DJs. As for run of the mill spots/stains, I find good old fashioned spit the safest. Just wet a finger and rub away the offender, then wipe dry with a paper towel (or better yet, a soft cloth of the type you'd use to polish your most precious antique automobile). [Gerard Gormley] r I use a product called AFTA by Guardsman Products. It's touted as a professional strength cleaner/degreaser & adhesive remover. [Hardyboy01] r I use Bestine as it removes sticker residue more quickly and cleanly than anything else I've file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (19 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  21. 21. rec.collecting.books FAQ ever used. Available at most art and drafting supply stores. [Lawrence Person] q 4.9 How Do I Remove Crayon Marks From a Book? r Unlike ink, which penetrates the paper, crayon marks are at the surface. I've had success with very fine steel wool (0000 grade). Gentle rubbing will usually remove, or minimize, the crayon marks without causing harm to the paper. (As with any cleaning method, practice on a book you don't care about.) [Mario Christaldi] q 4.10 How Do I Get Rid of That "Musty Smell"? r Try enclosing in plastic bag after dusting with baking soda liberally. [Jack Evans] r Someone claimed that putting the book in an enclosed bag with kitty litter helps. Make sure the stuff doesn't touch the book, and also make sure it's not been used. I've tried pointing an electric fan at the book(s) for about a week (this was for smoke smell), and it worked fairly well. [Mike Berro] r When you smell a "musty" or "mildewy" type odor, you are quite often reacting to mold spores which have left the book and are floating in the air. This is a situation where using a fan could cause a problem. Blowing the mold spores around could cause them to land on other items, such as books, and spread the problem...especially if you were using the fan in a closed environment. [Ken Kapson] r The fan also wouldn't treat the mold problem on the infected book itself. At best, it would dry up any moisture which is present and stop the mold from producing futher spores. But desiccation alone will not kill the mold. It will become inactive. However, once moisture becomes present again, the mold will reactivate itself (hardy little buggers, aren't they?). [Ken Kapson] r One further comment, which may be of interest. The smell receptors in your nose will become "fatigued" after being exposed to an odor for a period of time. This means that you will stop noticing the smell. So, this means that if you go to someone's musty basement and start looking at their books, eventually you won't notice the smell that could be present in some of the individual items. But later on, after you've brought your new purchases home and your smell receptors have returned to normal, you'll once again be able to smell the mold on the books (which you didn't notice at the time you bought them). [Ken Kapson] r What I find works fairly well (I have allergies too) is to take a newspaper (one that is a couple weeks old - where the print doesn't come off.) Tear it in pieces to fit inside the book. Put the book away for a couple weeks. Most of the smell would be gone. Lysol is very good for killing mold spores (my primary allergy). You can take a paper towel and spray it with lysol and enclose it in a large plasic bag with the book for a couple days. I keep a box (separate from all my other books) that is just for sick books. I call it my book hospital. This is where I keep all my books until they are well enough to join me. r I accomplish this with my "detox chamber." Here's how I make mine: 1. I use a large box for the outside. In my case this box sits outdoors under a carport roof. 2. At the bottom of the box I place the "smell-soaker-upper" (SSU ?) - which at various times has been Lysol, baking soda and kitty litter. (I'm open for any more suggestions). BTW, in my experience, Lysol works the fastest but to a small extent trades one odor for another. Baking soda and file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (20 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  22. 22. rec.collecting.books FAQ kitty litter are the best. I place a bowl at the bottom and put the SSU in that. 3. Over this I invert a wire basket (milk crate). This covers the SSU and decreases the chance of getting it on the books. 4. On top of the wire crate I place clean paper and set the books on top. Depending on the book, it might be lying flat or standing erect with pages splayed open. (There's always the danger of curious dogs or teenagers tipping over the whole contraption !!) 5. I go away and forget about it for a while. This tends to run anywhere from weeks to months. [Bill and Barb Wright] q 4.11 How Do I Get Rid Of Unwanted Odors? r Absorene: Seriously, folks, the best method of removing cigarette smell from books is Absorene paper and book cleaner. It's a pink clay that you apply like a sponge to the front and back of books. It absorbs the smell. On the ends of the books, apply very gently. The stuff is magic! You can order it through the Brodart catalog, or write to the Absorene MFG Co. at 1609 N. 14th St., St Louis, MO 63106 USA. Terrific stuff. Two cans will last all year! [Larry Burdick] r Activated Charcoal: I think charcoal or baking soda or any other odor absorber would also work. [Chris Volk/Shep Iiams] r Aftershave Lotion: Putting a book in an airtight container with aftershave lotion works. Best if the book is fanned open, and of course kept from getting the liquid lotion on the book. Moisten some kind of absorbent material in the bottom of the box with the book above it. The after shave lotion method is used by car dealers to freshen up a smelly car. They spray or put moistened rags in the car and keep it closed up for several days. (things you didn't need to know). [] r Baking Soda or Talc: Baking powder absorbs both moisture and odors, but the process is tedious and messy and not guaranteed. Interleaving with powdered paper takes forever, so I reserve it for those [books] really worth reviving. I have used rice paper dredged in baking soda or unscented talc. There probably is some pre-powdered paper on the market. I've used both baking powder and baking soda. The powder is ground finer and so is more absorbent and harder to brush off. [] r Baking Soda or Talc: One of the ideas was to put said smelly book in a plastic baggie with baking soda in the bottom. You should also put a layer of paper between the book and soda so there was no direct contact. I've gone the soda route and it works reasonably well - I've let the book "sit in it" for around two weeks. [Nate's Books ] r Carpet Deodorizer: I'm not sure if this would work for smoke but we use carpet deodorizer for books that smell musty or mildue. Might want to try it. [Amy ] r Carpet Deodorizer: Carpet de-odouriser non coloured-non scented variety. Use one called 'Neutradol' if you can get it. It is a white powder a bit like talc. Dust every page and the cover with it, then wrap it up for about two weeks (use a polyethelene freezer bag). The powder will come off easily with a small vacuum cleaner such as a Dust Buster, or brushing with a soft shaving brush. Hey presto, a smell-free book. [Broder's Books ] r Kitty Litter: Recently we purchased a math library which, while it had no apparent mildew, had that telltail odor. In addition, a couple of the volumes had "philandering pussy cat" musk about them. We plunged the books into the middle of a box of unscented clay file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (21 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  23. 23. rec.collecting.books FAQ clumping kitty litter, having first very lightly "misted" them with lysol. We held the lysol can approximately 4' above the books, and gave a very light psst! on the spray nozzle, letting the fine mist drift over them. After a week we pulled the books out of the box of kitty litter and behold, they no longer smelled. [Bree Books ] r Cedar Chips: Cedar chips have done wonders for me with all kinds of odors. You get a bag at a pet store, then put the books and a load of cedar chips in a plastic garbage bag or sealed carton for a period of time. The most difficult to deodorize are art books on coated papers. How long it takes depends on the odor, but the cedar chips leave no odor. [Evert Volkersz ] r Coffee Grounds: Some booksellers have had luck with removing mold/must smell from old paperbacks by placing them in a plastic bag, and placing an open container of coffee grounds in the bag, and then leaving for a week or so (seems to help if placed in a warm environment). The mold smell disappears, and the books, if aired for a couple of days before being placed on the shelfs, lose the coffee smell. Both used and un-used coffee grounds are said to work. Haven't heard if this works with hardcovers or other items. [John F. Kuenzig ] r Diss: Someone also suggested the use of diss... you know - that stuff they store with film that absorbes moisture. [Nate's Books ] r Fabric Softener Sheets: I got this suggestion from someone on AOL last year. Tried it with an ARC of Jurassic Park which must have lived its whole life in the smoking lounge...It pretty much worked, might have worked better if I'd been more diligent or used more strips... The suggestion is to take one or two of those dryer fabric softener sheets (I use Bounce), cut them into a few lengthwise strips and place the strips here and there inside the book. Then seal the book up in a plastic bag, strips and all, and wait for some period of time which I don't remember (I left my copy sitting around for months, but that wasn't really on purpose). Probably a week or so. And no, I have no idea whether this would be chemically bad for the book's paper; certainly my ARC wasn't any the worse for the treatment, that I noticed anyway. [Suzanne Saunders ] r White Vinegar: My pet way of getting rid of odors in books is thus: Put the book on thread spools [or something similar] in the microwave oven. Use another object to prop open the topside cover. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN!!! Place a saucer of white vinegar in the oven, and let it set overnight. One night usually takes care of it. The book may smell like vinegar for a few hours, but then is odor free. [Diane Johnson ] r Ozone: At Wells Books, we have converted an unused closet into an ozone chamber. Books from the homes of smokers or from smoke damage in house fires go into this "chamber" with our ozone machine going for a two hour session. This will remove almost all the smoke smell (also most mildew smell). This is the method used by the Royal B.C. Museum and by many companies specializing in insurance claims. We first started this when one of our stores had a serious fire. The ozone treatment if done many times over the life of a book might damage the make up of the paper. But then, badly smoked books would have a shorter life time anyway. What smell isn't removed can be wiped off with a treated sponge from a janitor supply store (again the type of thing used by the folks who clean up after house fires). We not only clean our own books, we would also provide a service to our file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (22 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  24. 24. rec.collecting.books FAQ customers on Vancouver Island. [Wells Books ] q 4.12 How Do I Get Rid of Mold? r R.L. Shep in his "Cleaning and Repairing Books... a Practical Home Manual" mentions using hydrogen peroxide, carefully applied to the area with an eyedropper; lemon juice applied the same, and placed in the sun for a "short time only"; denatured alcohol, applied with a soft rag or cotton swap; thymol in a solution of alcohol. As with all "blot up any excess". If mildew is between the pages of the book, he suggest diatomaceous earth, sprinkled between the pages and brushed or vacuumed out several days later. If the book is spotted from a previous "infestation", using lemon juice or a weak solution of peroxide, applied in small amounts with an eyedropper and wiped off quickly, followed by a good coat of "Renaissance Wax" (available from McCune, Inc., San Francisco) or some other good wax. As usual, the Secretary will denounce any knowledge of your activities, etc. [Ralph Sims] r (1) Getting rid of the stain. *If* you think it could be removed with a stiff brush, do *not* go ahead and remove it that way, as that will almost certainly damage the surrounding cloth. Instead, take a sharp-pointed, scalpel-type blade and/or a pair of tweezers, and a high- powered magnifying glass and work carefully at scraping/prising away the gunk without damaging the cloth itself. Some moderately light brushing towards the end may help to get rid of traces. If the stains can *not* be removed in this way, water is probably the next thing to try. Use wet tissue to dampen the whole surface of the board (otherwise dampstain marks are likely to appear). Then draw a blunt edge (like a bone folder) smoothly across the board. Don't use anything sharp or you risk damaging the cloth. Don't rub the damp board with tissue or cloth or anything, as this will probably remove the dye in the cloth. Depending on the type of dye used, you are likely to lose some of the colour anyway, but do it carefully and the loss will be nigligible and pretty much unnoticeable. Work *very carefully* round the title/gilt stamping or similar, drawing the bone folder *away from* such areas *towards* the edge of the board. Basically, you're teasing the dirt out of the fabric; don't dump it on top of the title, etc., just work it towards the edges of the board, where it can be wiped gently off. You may be able to remove much of the the stain this way but the stain (or parts of it) may simply mix in with the water and the dye on the cloth. Even so, the resulting gunk, when distributed smoothly across the boards with a bone folder or similar, will be an improvement! Don't use chemicals. They may improve the immediate appearance of the book, but within a year or two their corrosive effects will begin to become apparent. The most you might try is a small amount of some lanolin-based cleanser (e.g., Amodex). If you do use something like this, try to remove it afterwards with water as much as possible. Spray the board with a deacidification spray (or apply it as a solution) afterwards, for good measure. One of the things that gives older books their "feel" is the accumulation of grease from the hands of its readers. The above treatment will remove a lot of that grease, which can be restored in the form of a very small amount of very low-acidity (ideally ph neutral) file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (23 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  25. 25. rec.collecting.books FAQ vegetable oil - or just a lot of handling with sweaty hands! Actually, the grease from fingers is slightly acid, and in itself aids corrosion in the long run. [John Wilson] r (2) Killing off the spores. The spores (if they are such) are probably best killed off by sunshine, which apparently works just as well (or even better) behind glass as in the open air. Leave it on the windowsill on a sunny day for an hour or so. Ideally, if you are going to dampen the board to clean it, do it on a sunny day and put the book in the sun to dry. Don't do *any* of the above on anything that's really valuable; leave it in the hands of a professional. [John Wilson] q 4.13 How Do I Get Rid of Foxing? r I could imagine some tricky sod removing foxing with laundry bleach which might look okay the first couple years, but Chlorox does immediate damage to the cellulose content of paper, & the residue salts cause increasing damage in the long run. There are additional chemical means of neutralizing the residue salts, but those additional chemicals also have long-term effects. Foxing can also be masked temporarily with peroxide, but peroxide damages paper even more quickly than Chlorox. Both methods are essentially those of the ignorant or the crooked. Unfortunately foxing is most frequently caused by a living organism which may or may not continue to grow. In ideal conditions of temperature & humidity for the book, this fungus either ceases to grow or develops at a such a low rate that the chemical solution residues are the more harmful in that chemical residues will hasten rather than retard the natural break-down of paper but the arrested fungus may remain only a minor speckling of discoloration. Some tests on these foxing detect no fungus present, so some archivists posit the possibility of multiple causes, leaving an element of "mystery" about the cause & nature of foxing. One thing is fairly standard: foxing occurs best in papers that contain iron impurities or high acidity. Iron is usually introduced into paper during manufacture, from water containing iron, from old papers manufactured with aid of iron machinery & iron beaters. Foxing caused exclusively by iron, & not by fungus, archivists distinguish as "dendritic growth stain" & at its ugliest it is a big fan-shaped discoloration that apparently follows some metalic molecular pattern. Fungal foxing usually requires paper acidity, acidity being the result of bonding agents used from the 1890s through 1980s on cheaper papers, though it's possible the acidity of some foxed books is a by-product of the fungus itself. Both forms of foxing are treated the same way, by washing the paper in an oxidizing agents, which requires submersal in dilute chemical then rinsing. Talus, a company in New York, sells powdered Chloramine- specifically for use in removing foxing from archival materials, including books. Unfortunately it requires the powder to be dissolved in water & the foxed item to be immersed in the water, then submersed a second time to rinse out the Chlor-T residues. So it treats one signature-leaf at a time, the book having first to be disbound. State of the art archival preservationists have found that even the Chloramine-T leaves a residue after rinsing, & is harmful over time, but no better option has been proposed. It is restricted to use on items truly worthy of preservation, & which have egregious foxing. All file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (24 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  26. 26. rec.collecting.books FAQ de-foxing chemical bleaches have to be rinsed. A book of considerable age & rarity that is being devoured by fungus, it can be disbound, each separated signature soaked in dilute Chloramine-T, then rinsed to remove residues, & rebound. This is not very useful for entire books of only average value. There is a very dangerous & impossible to do at home method of removing foxing from books that used Chloramine gas. I've seen reports that this is safe for the book & may be the only method guaranteed not to replace foxing with waterdamage. But the technique requires resources only the aerospace industry could provide. The book has to be laced in a riffled- open position so all the pages can be gassed, & the gas chamber better be air tight. I've never known of this being done by booksellers, & no standard archival resource mentions it as a viable option, though the Univeristy of Washington experimented with it to good results with the assistance of Boeing Aerospace back in the late 1970s -- I've heard nothing about it since. Some archivists claim (hope rather) calcium hypochlorite leaves less residue even than Chloramine-T soaks, but others have said calcium hypochlorite clings so well to paper it is extremely hard to rinse out & so is not preferable to Chlor-T. Again, it's a submersal technique, hardly practical for books. One old method is a three-part deal, requiring three hotographic chemical trays. The first tray has potassium permaganate diluted one to 16 parts water. Each page is submersed for a half-minute this solution, then moved to a second tray with sodium meta-bisulphite diluted one to sixteen parts water, again for a half-minute. The third tray should be a "flushing" tray with water running thrugh it continuously. This a rinse, to wash out the killed & loosened foxing, & to remove the chemicals themselves. This elaborate method has pretty much been displaced by Chloramine-T or by calcium hypochlorite which requires only one rather than two distinct baths before rinse. Sodium borohydride in a 5% solution is also used. The majority of archivists don't seem to use it, but a few claim it does not need to be rinsed, because its residues leave a deposit of alkalinity that might actually benefit the paper. Exposure one sheet at a time to UV light (artificially generated, or mere sunlight exposure) is the only "safe" bleaching method & even that is not safe for paper containing lignen, which will rapidly oxidize from ultra violet exposure, with darkening effect as lousy as the foxing. It works best with slight moistening of the surface & strong UV radiation. If it's just the random page it might be a tolerable method, otherwise it takes one hell of a long time. The moisture-&-UV method is reportedly the least damaging of all methods (except possibly the unavailable gas-chamber method). The Paper Conservator #21, 1997, has a lengthy article on the method: "Aqueous light bleaching of modern rag paper: an effective tool for stain removal." It is useful for cleaning foxed color plates that have been removed, treated, & reinserted, but doing it to an entire book would not be time effective. All methods requiring water (dampening, or submersive) risk damage to water soluable inks. Most dyes used in books are color-fast but very old books with color plates sometimes used indigo in the inking mix to achieve purple & blue colorations that will bleed when dampened. Further, rinsing with fresh water (from the tap) risks introducing iron impurities to the paper, damaging over time, so dionized or distilled water is sometimes file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (25 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  27. 27. rec.collecting.books FAQ recommended. High quality papers can sometimes be wetted in a manner that will dry unharmed, but an awful lot of papers will either change their thickness or wrinkle before they dry, & that damage is irreversible. Spot-testing helps in the decision process. By & large it is a trade-off & defoxing is recommended only when the level of foxing is more detrimental. But I'm afraid any bookseller who claims to have a magic method of foxing removal is likely spraying a mist of dilute Chlorox that damages the cellulose in the paper & does permanent harm, though if he can sell the cleaned-up book quickly enough by making it look momentarily nice & bright, he's probably succeeded at his only real goal. All functional methods apart from UV exposure require submersal so one would expect signs of a book having been disbound & rebound, with some slight evidence of contact with water if not outright overt water damage. The bottom line is there is no truly reasonable & effective way of defoxing a book, perhaps at most these methods are credible for a single fox-stained illustration plate or a few egregiously fungally-darkened pages that'll look better slightly wrinkled than they look all splotchy. Books stored in temperature controlled rooms (in the 60-67 degrees F range) with no more than 50% humidity will not develop foxing, & foxing that is established will be retarded in further growth. If you live in the Philipines or South Carolina or Dallas where humidity can be 100% then books that have foxing started in them are pretty much doomed & will infect nearby books as well, unless a first-rate dehumidifier is in place. There is perhaps another bottom line, that paper is not so permanent as we would dream, & all we can do is limit the decay of books so they will last a lot longer than our own lifetime, but eventual decay is inescapable. [Paghat] r There's really only one technique which *might* work and at the same time will not damage the book in other ways (e.g., by impregnating corrosive material on the pages). Wait until it is a fine, sunny day. Then take a piece of moist cotton wool or tissue and very gently moisten the page. If residue transfers itself from the page to the tissue at this stage, take a fresh moist tissue and repeat the process until all such residue has been removed. The tissue should brush over the page with feather-lightness; no pressure at all should be applied, or the page will *certainly* wrinkle when dried (it will very likely wrinkle anyway!). Then place the open page in a sunny spot (it doesn't have to be direct sunlight; behind glass works fine) until it has thoroughly dried. Don't leave it there *too* long, or the page may start to fade. 20-30 minutes is probably about right - less if it's very hot. Test the process on a page that doesn't matter too much before touching the title page, etc. The main things are can go wrong are: (1) As I've already said, the page may wrinkle. Nevertheless, it may look better wrinkled than foxed. And, if you've done it carefully (without stretching the fibres of the paper by applying pressure to it while wet), the wrinkling will be much reduced after the book has been back on the shelf for a few weeks. (2) If you dab at spots of foxing, rather than washing the whole page smoothly, it may dry leaving a watermark stain. (3) It may not work anyway. (4) It may not only not work, but it may leave you with a page which has wrinkles and watermarks in addition to being foxed!! Finally, when it comes to any advice on this subject from this newsgroup, remember, "Nothing Costs More than Something for Free" (title of a play by Yukio Mishima)! [John file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (26 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  28. 28. rec.collecting.books FAQ Wilson] r I've had some success wth this method and the best thing is "it can't hurt if you're careful". Maybe? Take a slice of white bread and remove the crust. Spread a newspaper to catch the crumbs. Remember white bread is made with bleached flour and is moist. Gently rub the bread on the page in a circular motion and it will soon crumble, ball up, and if you're lucky, start to darken. The light abrasion applied will not harm the paper, the bleach will help whiten and the moist bread will remove some soiling and lighten stains. Don't expect perfection but look for improvement. And - hold the mayo. [Sharon Sudderth] q 4.14 What Do I Do About Bookloving Insects? r Place your books in airtight plastic bag and put them in your freezer a couple of days. That will kill the insects. r Prevention is the best route, and that's best accomplished by climate control. Low temperature and low humidity discourage most book-eaters. I keep my book room as cold and dry as my computer (static electricity a problem if humidity drops too low) and I can stand it. [Gerard Gormley] r Correction measures recommended by most professionals involve freezing -- blast freezing, if possible -- and double freezing. Books should be bagged before freezing. This is not a guaranteed method. Some insects may be able to develop a resistance to freezing. The experts frown on insectides and other chemical measures. These can be harmful to people as well as books. [Gerard Gormley] r I suggest you order the Technical Leaflet, "Integrated Pest Management," from Northeast Document Conservation Center /100 Brickstone Square / Anadover MA 01810-1494 / TEL: 508-470-1010 FAX: 508-475-6021 [Gerard Gormley] q 4.15 How Do I Care For My Leather Books? r For at least 3 decades I have been applying potassium lactate to new leather bindings followed by the British Museum leather dressing formula (40% anhydrous lanolin, 60% neatsfoot oil), and using the Brit Mus formula for other leather bindings. Never had any trouble with either treatment. At a preservation workshop at UTex Austin this month the presenter mentioned (with photos) that some collections believe that the oil in this formula migrates to the text block (mainly to the gutters) of some of their books. I don't notice this on any of my books. [Sam Lanham (] r I would suggest immediate climate control. Get the humidity and temperature down and keep them there. [Gerard Gormley] r Weird book rot may indeed be a literal "bug"---that was my guess, too. I carefully daubed the open sore with Lysol, and the sudden eruption stopped! Because the leather was red- dyed, it literally looked like a bleeding wound, and that seems to have stopped. [] r I've been using Marney's Conservation Leather Dressing for some time now. I bought from a local book binder. It may not restore leather that has rotted, but does a good job otherwise. Contents are Lanolin, Neatsfoot Oil & Beeswax. From experience, use in very small amounts per application. Too much moisture at one time may cause warping to the boards. file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (27 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  29. 29. rec.collecting.books FAQ It's recommended to rotate books so they get the treatment every six months. [Bill Strawbridge] r That depends. If your leather is dry and powdery, nothing will really help. Conservators will use a 5% soluction of Klucel-G in alcohol, but unless you've used it before, I advise against it. The last thing you want to do is get old leather wet with water. It has the potential to blacken the leather into a gross slime. This is because the water is solubolizing the acids in the leather and essentially burning it up. There are leather dressings available which should be used VERY sparingly, especially if the leather is cracked to avoid staining the paper. For more information you can contact these two vendors: Bookbinder's Warehouse ( or Bookmakers ( They'll both be able to steer you to the right product. [Peter Verheyen] r You can make a nice leather dressing with 60% lanolin (available from some drugstores) and 40% Neat's foot oil (available from leather stores, hardware stores, etc.). Melt the lanolin, preferably in a double boiler, and add the neat's foot oil, stir until well mixed, and let cool. Some recipes call for cedar wax, bee's wax and other adjuncts, but the lanolin/neat's foot oil does the job nicely and will not be found ten years from now to have some harmful ingredient that was once considered benign. Read Middleton's book 'The Restoration of Leather Bindings' for a good breakdown on the various treatments. The above recipe will, for about ten bucks, make ten year's worth (unless you buy 100 leather books a year!) [Greg] r Try Fredelka Formula, made by Metalkem Ltd. PO Box 3, Haverford PA 19041. A 100- gram can goes for about $7-10. I buy mine from a local bookseller. I don't know where he gets it. It contains neatsfoot oil, beeswax and microwax (whatever that is). [Gerard Gormley] r Try ordinary Vaseline, the kind you get in any supermarket. [John Motavalli] r I've heard that Vaseline will eventually dry out and possibly harm the leather. I use Marney's conservation leather dressing. Got a bottle a few years back from a book binder. It works good and lasts forever. Bet it's available on the net. [William Strawbridge] q 4.16 Can I Fix A Cocked Or Slanted Spine? r Here's one method a book dealer friend taught me, simpler in the doing than the saying: 1. Put book on flat surface. 2. Open to 2nd page and run finger along left inside edge near spine from top of book to bottom. 3. Open to last page - 2 and run finger along right inside edge near spine from top of book to bottom (as above). 4. Repeat from front of book page 4. 5. Repeat from back of book page [last - 4] 6. Repeat pattern until you meet in the middle. [Scot Kamins] r I used to do this to prevent cocking in the first place, but it never seemed to work (though it may work post facto). I like the suggestion on Biblio: simply turn the book upside down and "read" it backwards. [Mark Wilden] r On paperbacks, the books can be microwaved gently to warm the glue inside the spine. I have seen several items in auctions of vintage paperbacks listed as, "microwaveable". This process will usually correct off kilter or rolled spines. GO EASY !! don't cook 'em on high for 4 days or anything like that. Suggested: 30 seconds on low setting. [Blake at LDC] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (28 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  30. 30. rec.collecting.books FAQ q 4.17 How Do I Repair a Water Damaged Book? r I know the [U.S.] NTSB (The National Transportation Safety Board) has used a "freeze- drying" method in the case of aviation logbooks that have been submerged for as many as fifteen years. The word is that the books come out of the process in "like new" condition. [D. Ovad] q 4.18 Should I Remove Rusted Staples From a Pamphlet? r Under most circumstances, any piece will retain more of its value if left as close to original as possible. Trying to replace the staples could possibly lead to accidental damage. Also, It is very unlikely that you could find staples the same size. If it were mine, I'd keep it dry and hope for the best. [Mike Henry] r It's hard to argue with Mike's position since what he says about value and originality are true. Nevertheless, I find myself more and more going to the side that holds that something (staples, here) which threatens the integrity and longevity of the main part of the original should be removed if possible. Furthermore, staples, rusted or not, can cause a different kind of damage. As the paper expands and contracts over the years due to humidity and temperature it works against the inflexible staples and tears itself. One of the reasons old Asian four-hole bindings have endured is that instead of something like staples a paper string (koyori) is used. This expands and contracts at the same rate as the text block paper. I would try to remove the staples carefully and either leave the pamphlet unstitched or possibly restitch it with soft thread. Whether or not you decide to leave the staples in I suggest deacidification with Wei-to or something similar. [Sam Lanham] q 4.19 How Do I Halt Paper Deterioration? r Nearly all books between about 1870 and almost the present time used acidic paper. After about 100 years, most of them are so brittle they will disintegrate the first time you read them. One treatment that will extend paper life is Bookkeeper or Wei T'o deacidification sprays. It will take about $20 or $30 worth to treat an average book with Wei T'o. Note that this will not restore the strenght of your brittle paper -- it will just slow down the deterioration. Some ink, aspecially some colored ink, will get smeary -- test this before you treat a whole book. That may be more of a problem with Wei T'o than with Bookkeeper -- not sure. [Christopher Mullin] r Low temperatures and humidity are a big help. Don't let the books get *too* dry though -- 20 or 30% is fairly good, and consistency of both temperature and humidity is much more important than the exact numbers. Just remember that every time your book warms up in an environment where there's also increasing moisture, it's as though you were dipping it into a dilute acid bath. That's one argument for storing books that you might actually want to use at temeperatures around 65 degrees F. It would be better to store them at a lower temperature, but if you ever took them *out* of the low temperature area, you'd want to warm them very, very gradually. If you keep them at aa constant 60 or 65 F., you can just go into the storage room and use them there. [Christopher Mullin] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (29 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  31. 31. rec.collecting.books FAQ q 4.20 How Do I Stop Binding Glue From Becoming Brittle? r There are three main types of glue used in bookbinding. The most traditional is wheat paste, made from flour and water. Also in use until the 20th century (and still used by some oldtimers) is animal hide glue, which is heated and applied in essentially a molten state. Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA) is in popular use among bookbinders now. It has all the properties of Elmer's Glue, except that it stays flexible when dry. There have been other glues used, for example rubber cement, but they are all inferior to the three I named. [Steven D. Hales] r Bookbinding glue needs to stay flexible, and not disintegrate and become friable. Not likely with PVA, but with animal glue or cheap substitutes this happens. There's not too much you can do. Most glues are either hydroscopic or thermoplastic, but you are taking a risk to use water or heat around a book. Taking the book to a binder and having it reglued is the best bet. [Steven D. Hales] q 4.21 How Do I Pack Books When Moving? r Definitely flat. And edges out, so the books are spine to spine in the box. And stuff any space with crumpled bubble wrap or some such so the books don't rattle around. If you hear anything when you shake the box, open it up and redo. [Parmer Books] r Flat, and definitely not fore-edges down. I made the mistake of a short car ride from a purchase, hit a single large bump (that I remember) and broke several book spines that way. The weight of the page block forces the page block down, and the page block tears away from the boards at the inside gutter. [John Kuenzig] r The books should be placed flat and spine to spine for the different stacks. If you place them spine-up, you risk weakening the hinges. If you have dust jackets, I assume you have protected them already. When placing the books in the boxes you have to decide how much and whether to include padding material. A lot depends on who will handle the boxes. A box dropped on a corner can cause a lot of damage to the books inside. If at all possible, do not store the boxes on a cement floor (ie garage) for any extended period of time. Cement has a lot of moisture which can be drawn up into the dry cardboard box and dry paper books. Water destroys books faster than fire. [James D. Keeline] q 4.22 How Do I Get My Books Signed? r The best way to get an autograph (barring a face-to-face meeting with the author) is to write them care of their publisher, asking if you can send the book for their signature. Indicate that you're willing to enclose both a return mailer and return postage. Be willing to wait on their convenience, and if they indicate that they DON'T, for whatever reason, sign books, don't force the issue. I also take the jacket off before mailing the book, just to be safe. [Bud Webster] r I have had great luck sending a letter to the author (usually care of the publisher) asking if I can send a book for signing. I always included a SASE, and got a 90% answer rate (and the answer was always a signed letter!) About 40% said it was OK to send them books. Don't ever send a book without asking permission first, unless you don't want to see the book again. In these days of email, I still think you'll get a better response with snail mail. Authors seem to have a "thing" about the printed word. [Mike Berro] file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (30 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]
  32. 32. rec.collecting.books FAQ q 4.23 Should I Rebind An Old Book? r I would think twice about having it re-bound if I were you. Unless there's something really wrong with the original binding, you could significantly lower the value by rebinding. An alternative would be to have someone construct a slip-case of archival boards, or a clamshell case made of the same material. This would protect it and keep it square and tight without sacrificing the original binding. This is true even if the original "binding" is just a drab paper cover. Of course, if you were making some kind of presentation copy for someone and were having it bound in carved leather, or some other kind of custom, art-ish binding (especially by someone well-known for their binding designs), that's a kettle of fish of a different color. And, almost certainly, a damned expensive one. [Bud Webster] r The value wouldn't be as significantly lowered for a non-fiction work as much as would be the case for, say, hypermodern fiction, or Dickens in the original parts. For a scientific monograph, a sizable number of the potential buyers will be scientists, who tend to be much more interested in the contents than the state of the binding. The same is true in my experience for ex-lib copies of standard scientific works; ex-lib condition lowers the value some, but not as catastrophically as in the case of collectible fiction. (By "standard" I mean works that are sound contributions to science, of interest mostly to specialists, but not blockbusters like _Origin of Species_ or Audubon's _Birds of America_ or Cuvier's _Recherces sur ossemens fossiles_. That's a whole 'nother kettle of Darwin fish.) [Ben Waggoner] 5. Book Terminology q 5.1 What is the Difference Between "First Edition" and "First Printing" r Discussion of book editions, printings & states hinges on the printing technology used. From the time of Gutenberg in the later half of the 1400s to the first half of the 1800s the usual printing methods used moveable type; individual letters, symbols and characters set up on racks to form a mirror image of the desired text, and inked. Then paper is laid on top and pressed so the image of the type is transferred to the paper. Traditionally, an edition is all copies of a book printed from one setting of the type so the first edition is all copies printed from the first setting of type, with the type being dispersed and reused for other books. Reprinting would involve resetting the type from scratch which would allow for the correction of typographical and editorial errors, revision by the author or editor, the updating of information and expanding the amount of material covered. If the changes and corrections are substantive enough the publisher will describe a later printing as a second, revised, corrected or expanded edition. It is also possible to stop the printing process, reset a small section (one miss-spelled word or perhaps an entire page) and then carry on. That portion of the first printing/first edition before the pause would be the first state, after the pause would be the second state. A leaf or gathering of leaves might be reprinted and inserted into the book, replacing the original leaf or gathering even after the book was file:///C|/My%20Documents/Bookbinding/Guide%20t...20Collecting/Guide%20to%20Book%20Collecting.htm (31 of 44) [20/01/2002 11:17:51]