[ModLib] Musty Odor

Roger Lathbury lathbury at gmu.edu
Sat Jul 27 10:33:12 EDT 2013

I don't know about the spots, but the mustiness can often be fixed by (don't laugh) wrapping the book loosely in a plastic bag and putting it in the freezer for a month. If it's still musty after taking it out, try another few weeks. I had three lovely Sidgwick and Jackson Shakespeare quartos (Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Pericles) bought at a bargain price and eliminated their mustiness this way.


From: modlib-bounces at thuban.owu.edu [modlib-bounces at thuban.owu.edu] on behalf of jwol [jwol at fast.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2013 10:00 AM
To: Modern Library List Serve

The first clue my latest online purchase is a problem is when I happened to check the tracking number online at 7:00 PM and noted it was delivered at 5:15 PM that day; however, the book was not on my front porch.  I returned from the gym at 4:30 PM, collected my mail from my mailbox but noted no book.   I emailed the USPS, provided relevant details and asked, “what next?”
Two days later I received an email explaining it could be picked up at the post office or scheduled for redelivery.  I preferred the inconvenience of driving the seven miles to the post office than risking having another deliver failure.
When presented with the package, I noted three tears in the manila envelope it was mailed in.  Opening it, I found my newly acquired 3 lb 10 oz Buckram Giant ped in a Saran Wrap type product with no bubble wrap or padded envelope to carry it across the country.  A manila envelope!  No wonder it was torn in three places and a miracle there was no damage to the book.
Looking at the book, I would grade it as very good apart from the following:  the front and rear cover have some sort of mottling, not prominent but discernible spots.  An associate and serious collector described them as white and suggested the book was probably stored in a basement.  There is a slight hint of mustiness to the pages, but not overbearing.  I checked other sales by this seller and discovered mostly non books, sewing machine parts, video games, etc.  So they are not a book dealer.
So, what is it?  Is it contagious?  Can it be treated?
Thanks for any help.
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