Skip to main content

View Diary: Just what have you got in there? IAN: July 18, 2013 (81 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  life is much easier now on the "horror vacui" (11+ / 0-)

    front of needing to have several things to read with me any time I leave the house -- I have dozens of books on my iPod Touch (now iPhone, actually).

    We still read dead-tree books, and we still buy a select few, but are majorly (sic) into the e-books these days because of paper allergies (formaldehyde! as well as general problem of slow fires in ancient SF paperbacks!)

    * "horror vacui" (L., literally "fear of empty") is why there are all those fascinating doodles in medieval manuscripts -- the monks couldn't stand to leave empty spaces on the pages, so they filled them! Those two are from the Gorleston Psalter at the British Museum.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:06:57 AM PDT

    •  Tell me more about slow fires in ancient SF (7+ / 0-)

      paperback books.  I have ancient SF paperback books and wonder of they are some kind of a fire hazard!

      If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

      by weck on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 04:29:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "slow fires" is library jargon for the deteriorati (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weck, Kit RMP

        on of old-fashioned high-acid wood-pulp paper -- like so many books & mags from the 30's (and still!!) on were printed on. slow fires is what makes older book pages tear, brittlely, and disintegrate when you try to turn the page.

        You may remember there was a big hoo-rah about "acid free paper" and "archival quality paper" about 20 years ago? That was the publishing industry figuring out that people were interested, and technical improvements happening in paper manufacture.

        there was a film by a researcher bringing the problem to public attention back in 1987. there's a good stub with links at Wiki.

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 08:38:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem of paper books for me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, The Marti, Kit RMP

      is that I have to either pay to buy them new, or be really careful of what used books I get. Paper holds onto odors and allergens too well and a book that has been in the wrong environment (like a heavy smoking household) will set my asthma off, especially if I fall asleep with it in bed. Not a problem with e-books.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 07:29:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My sister gave me a set of family heirloom books, (4+ / 0-)

        and I don't know where she stored them, but they set me to sneezing right away.  I will do what I can to clear that up, or I will get rid of them.  I'm not generally allergic, so these must have been somewhere damp.

        If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

        by weck on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 07:38:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  any cigarette odor we can smell in the store is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        weck, Kit RMP

        enough to not buy the item! also musty/mildew smell.

        we have worked out a routine for clearing low-level problems: during hot dry weather, take the problem items out of their containments (i.e. freezer-bags) and outside. we are lucky to have a back "deck" with a roof, so no direct sunlight.

        fan the pages while spraying LIGHTLY, and from about 12" away with plain Lysol disinfectant. then stand the book up with the covers spread enough to keep it standing, so the pages can fan open as they dry. let stand for 6-ish hours, until thoroughly dry, then close and lay flat. weight down with other books or whatever, for at least 12 hours.u

        DO NOT, HOWEVER, TRY THIS WITH HEAVILY ILLUSTRATED TITLES! Photo books have a heavy clay slip on their pages, to hold the images. this clay layer will glue itself together IRREPARABLY if you get it damp!

        repeat the dry-spray-dry-press cycle until the book no longer smells. In some cases you may want to damp down a paper towel and wipe down the inside and outside of the "boards", on older books this is a paper surface on the inside and a cloth surface on the outside.

        As a last resort you MAY even want to use a very small kitchen funnel to direct light spray inside the spine binding.

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 09:45:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, the books do have a lot of illustration. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kit RMP

          I may just do the outsides, and think about some kind of ultra violet for the inside.  Fortunately, not an emergency!

          If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. & http://www.dailykos.com/blog/Okiciyap

          by weck on Fri Jul 19, 2013 at 08:35:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site