Murry Spector twospectors at yahoo.com
Sat Jul 27 22:09:57 EDT 2013

I have tried everything I can think of to get the musty smell out of books. Nothing really works including the freezing method, the kitty-litter method, the baking soda method, and the place-a-dryer-sheet-between-each-page method. As Henry stated, bad odors have a way of coming back. Of course, no buyer would describe his book as musty, because nobody would buy it. I sometimes find that when buyers say "shelf wear" it means musty. Many years ago, when I began to collect, I ignored the musty smell, but soon finding that it spread to other books, I had the disappointing task of throwing away books, just the opposite of what I wanted to do. All I can say is, some sellers give you great service, and some couldn't care less. I always ask, but replies are few and far between.


 From: Eric Mayer - Bluebird Books <books at bluebirdbooks.com>
To: Modern Library List Serve <modlib at thuban.owu.edu> 
Sent: Saturday, July 27, 2013 1:41 PM

I can't speak to the whitish discoloration but can add my $.02 on the nature of the packaging. As a regular dealer in used and rare books, I take great pains to properly wrap and protect the books I ship out.
 I, too, often buy on sites such as eBay and have developed a friendly 'be careful when you package my book(s)' letter that I send to the seller (if I don't know them) to thank them 'in advance for something they were probably all set to do anyway.' It really works. It is kind of funny how some items arrive...over-protected is common. One lot of about 10 books came surrounded by maybe 15 children's T-shirts; now I'm set for rags around the house.
Eric M.
Bluebird Books
E-Mail: books at bluebirdbooks.com
Website: www.bluebirdbooks.com
Littleton, Colorado USA
Featuring high-quality used, out-of-print, and rare books
Member: RMABA (the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Association) and
IOBA (the Independent Online Booksellers Association)
------ Original Message ------
From: "jwol" <jwol at fast.net>
To: "Modern Library List Serve" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
Sent: 7/27/2013 8:00:29 AM
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 with 1,124 pages was wrapped 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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