Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

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PeterD
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Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by PeterD » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:45 am

Hi,

Does anyone have any tips on how to get rid of that musty smell from old books? :?

Thank you.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by annis » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:58 am

:shock:

I love the smell of old books! Why would you change it?!
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

PeterD
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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by PeterD » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:17 am

annis wrote::shock:

I love the smell of old books! Why would you change it?!
Hi William,

I didn't mind the smell either until someone told me that the odour in question was caused by a fungus that keeps on growing indefinitely; in other words it's ALIVE! I don't think I can have peace of mind knowing my books are being devoured by these THINGS; plus, who is to say that, when they have finished devouring the books, they don't come after me. :shock: :shock: :shock:

Pity, the book in question is a 1872 copy, in very good condition, of James R. Boise's The First Six Books of Homer's Iliad.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by annis » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:23 am

PeterD wrote:I didn't mind the smell either until someone told me that the odour in question was caused by a fungus that keeps on growing indefinitely; in other words it's ALIVE!
Well, there's alive and then there's alive. I have seen books with visible mold growing on them, a heartrending sight. But I've never seen any special fumigation regimes in even collections of incunables.
I don't think I can have peace of mind knowing my books are being devoured by these THINGS;
Well, I'll pester my special collections librarian friends to see if they can get me more info. Just because I don't see men in neon pink rubber suits with jugs of nasty chemicals hosing down books doesn't mean they aren't doing their work off-hours.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by Democritus » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:11 am

PeterD wrote:I didn't mind the smell either until someone told me that the odour in question was caused by a fungus that keeps on growing indefinitely; in other words it's ALIVE! I don't think I can have peace of mind knowing my books are being devoured by these THINGS; plus, who is to say that, when they have finished devouring the books, they don't come after me. :shock: :shock: :shock:
Some people say that the ideas in books are alive too.

The ideas in books can infect your brain! :shock:

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Post by Kasper » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:23 am

The ideas in books can infect your brain!
So can a well aimed rock but that doesn't make it alive. :D
“Cum ego verbo utar,” Humpty Dumpty dixit voce contempta, “indicat illud quod optem – nec plus nec minus.”
“Est tamen rogatio” dixit Alice, “an efficere verba tot res indicare possis.”
“Rogatio est, “Humpty Dumpty responsit, “quae fiat magister – id cunctum est.”

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Post by chad » Thu Sep 16, 2004 5:50 am

i used to like old books but now i don't... working in the oldest firm in australia we have in the lib. beautiful old 1700s crackling leather-bound law books owned by the first partners, but you never refer to them because you need to check the latest sources every time, and its the same with classics books; because they find palimpsests and papyri and update the texts, the newer version of texts are often much better than the beautiful old 1800s copies. i have a really nice herodotos from the 1800s but i prefer my cheaper 20th c copy.

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by benissimus » Thu Sep 16, 2004 6:55 am

PeterD wrote:plus, who is to say that, when they have finished devouring the books, they don't come after me. :shock: :shock: :shock:
Bet you wish you had a gun now
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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by ingrid70 » Thu Sep 16, 2004 6:59 am

benissimus wrote:
PeterD wrote:plus, who is to say that, when they have finished devouring the books, they don't come after me. :shock: :shock: :shock:
Bet you wish you had a gun now
A simple match will suffice :)

Ingrid

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Post by Eureka » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:47 am

Kasper wrote:
The ideas in books can infect your brain!
So can a well aimed rock but that doesn't make it alive. :D
Not to mention, improperly sterilised neurosurgery implements.

Sheeeeeeeessssssssh! :shock:
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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by PeterD » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:59 pm

benissimus wrote:
PeterD wrote:plus, who is to say that, when they have finished devouring the books, they don't come after me. :shock: :shock: :shock:
Bet you wish you had a gun now
:lol:
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Amy » Thu Sep 16, 2004 2:17 pm

You all sound like my parents :? They walk into my room and pretend to choke from old book smell but nobody else notices anything and I like it.
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Post by Episcopus » Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:13 pm

My A&G smells of sheet. s of latin grammar so much that I taped some wrapping paper all around it so that I can actually read it. It's so bloody old. Now the smell has er penetrated the sheeet of wrapping paper and we're back where we started, but with another sheet that smells like sheet on top of the stinking A&G book. Jag vill hjälpa!
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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by annis » Thu Sep 16, 2004 8:50 pm

annis wrote:Well, I'll pester my special collections librarian friends to see if they can get me more info.
Short answer, distilled from my librarian's long answer: get used to the odor. To prevent further degredation, environmental control is key. In particular low humidity.

There are cleaning regimes, but all are time consuming, expensive, and run the risk of damaging the work.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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Post by Anna Coluthon » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:07 pm

damp is definitely the enemy!

When I have lived in circumstances that left my books vulnerable to a moderate degree dampness I have fought back successfully by first vacuuming and wiping the dust off them each day on their shelves and then by letting the air from the back of the vacuum blow all over them to dry them out while I vacuumed everything else in the neighborhood.

I'm guessing that a space heater or fan might work as well--we were impecunious then, so I used the vacuum :)

moldy books make me and the cat both sneeze.
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Post by Anna Coluthon » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:18 pm

Actually, as I recall, if the air is humid enough to prove a problem, blowing more of it on your books with a fan is a bad idea. So scratch the fan :)
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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by PeterD » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:52 pm

annis wrote:
annis wrote:Well, I'll pester my special collections librarian friends to see if they can get me more info.
Short answer, distilled from my librarian's long answer: get used to the odor.


Or, I can give the book -- The First Six Books of the Iliad, with explanatory notes, James R. Boise, 1872, hardcover -- away.

The book is in good condition for its age; clean, except for a (slight ) musty aroma. :) If anyone is willing to pay the postage costs (c.$5), it's theirs.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by Bert » Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:05 am

PeterD wrote: If anyone is willing to pay the postage costs (c.$5), it's theirs.

~PeterD
Pick me, pick me.

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by PeterD » Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:10 am

Bert wrote:
PeterD wrote: If anyone is willing to pay the postage costs (c.$5), it's theirs.

~PeterD
Pick me, pick me.
It's yours, Bert.

Email me, via private messenging, your shipping address and I'll ship the book sometime next week.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by classicalclarinet » Fri Sep 17, 2004 12:12 am

How generous of you! :D
I would request it, but I know many other people need it far more than me.

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Post by Eureka » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:25 am

I must say, that was commendable, Peter :) (and to a lesser extent, ClassicalClarinet :P ).
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Post by Episcopus » Fri Sep 17, 2004 1:55 pm

I feel the Canadian love Peter :wink:
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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by eris » Fri Sep 17, 2004 4:07 pm

PeterD wrote:
annis wrote:
annis wrote:Well, I'll pester my special collections librarian friends to see if they can get me more info.
Short answer, distilled from my librarian's long answer: get used to the odor.


Or, I can give the book -- The First Six Books of the Iliad, with explanatory notes, James R. Boise, 1872, hardcover -- away.

The book is in good condition for its age; clean, except for a (slight ) musty aroma. :) If anyone is willing to pay the postage costs (c.$5), it's theirs.

~PeterD
Perhaps you should donote it to TextKit's Ides of March contest?? Just a thought.

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Re: Getting rid of that musty odour from old books...

Post by Bert » Fri Sep 17, 2004 11:47 pm

PeterD wrote: It's yours, Bert.

Email me, via private messenging, your shipping address and I'll ship the book sometime next week.

~PeterD
Thank you very much PeterD.
You're a great Canadian Kid. :)

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Post by Michaelyus » Sun Sep 19, 2004 5:03 pm

Well, if anyone is interested in removing the mold, http://www.litterascripta.com/bibliomania/clean.shtml might help.
Annis wrote: :shock:

I love the smell of old books! Why would you change it?!
The inflammatory-reactive extrahistamine-producing hypersensitive-specific population, probably.
As an asthmatic person myself, if there is too much of a certain musty odour then I might start to wheeze. I don't have ante-1950 books among my possessions; the earliest are from 1963; some of my father's O-level textbooks, although my parents might have some older books...

What is Absorene?

There is a theory that the smell is actually caused by the deteriation of crude ingredients in making paper; hydrolysis of the cellulose (where because of the water (and the acid from the wood pulp that ionises water needed for the hydrolysis (splitting the covalent bonds (of cellulose??? :shock: ) because of water)) and the alum, which (somehow) converts to sulphuric acid :shock: :shock: . The "pleasant" smell contains vanillin, a decomposition product of lignin and a constituent of vanilla.
Source:http://www.spectroscopynow.com/Spy/base ... -2,00.html
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Post by Bert » Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:36 pm

The book has arrived in good shape.
I will be using it regularly since I am studying the first book of the Iliad now.
Even if I do not use it, just picking it up and taking a snif every so often will make it worth while having it. :D

Ps. PeterD, I'll keep my end of the bargain. Thanks again.

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Post by PeterD » Thu Sep 23, 2004 1:45 am

Bert wrote:Ps. PeterD, I'll keep my end of the bargain. Thanks again.
Hi Bert,

You are very welcome. :wink:
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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