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[FAQ] rec.collecting.books FAQ

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Old December 26th 03, 09:18 PM
Mike Berro
external usenet poster
Posts: n/a
Default [FAQ] rec.collecting.books FAQ

rec.collecting.books FAQ

It's been a long time since I clogged up your newsreaders with the whole
shebang, so here it is. Happy new year!

1. General Information About REC.COLLECTING.BOOKS
a.. It is an unmoderated Usenet newsgroup devoted to discussion and
questions related to all aspects of book collecting. View the charter at
http://www.rcbfaq.com/charter.html for details.

b.. 1.2 How Do I Participate?
a.. 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
b.. 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
http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/basics.html. [Mike Berro]
c.. Google also has a searchable archive of previous messages, so you
can see what has been previously discussed. [Mike Berro]

c.. 1.3 What Kind of Posts are Inappropriate?
a.. Want to buy ...
b.. For sale ...
c.. For auction ...
d.. For trade .
e.. Visit my commercial website.
f.. A list of books for sale is available from ...
g.. 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]
h.. 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]
i.. Messages that use MIME, HTML, or any other format besides plain
ASCII text. [Lawrence Person]
j.. Before participating in Usenet you should make sure that you have
read at least the articles on netiquette in news.announce.newusers.
k.. More information can be found at; "Usenet Info Center Launch Pad" at
the URL: http://sunsite.unc.edu/usenet-b/home.html.
l.. and "Learn the Net: An Internet Guide and Tutorial, at URL:
http://www.learnthenet.com/english/index.html. [Jon Meyers]

d.. 1.4 What Kind of Posts are Appropriate?
a.. Who else collects ...?
b.. Where can I find information about ...?
c.. Event announcements: Fairs, shows, auctions, etc.
d.. What information about it can anyone tell me?
e.. About how much is it worth? (Please check the major online
catalogues first: see section 2.4.)
f.. What edition do I have?
g.. 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]

e.. 1.5 Where Is the Appropriate Place To Advertise Books For Sale or
Wanted To Buy?
a.. news:rec.arts.books.marketplace
b.. news:alt.marketplace.books
c.. news:alt.marketplace.books.sf (speculative fiction)
d.. 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]

f.. 1.6 How Do I Advertise My Cool Website?
a.. 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.

g.. 1.7 How Do I Cancel a Usenet Article I Posted?
a.. 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.
b.. An article titled How To Cancel An Article That You've Posted is
located at "http://www.geocities.com/ResearchTriangle/8211/cancel.html". It
covers many (but not all) the various newsreaders currently in use.
c.. 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
a.. 2.1 What Are Some Useful Guides to Collecting?
a.. McBride's A Pocket Guide to the Identification of First Editions
(860) 523-7707 or (860) 523-1622 (http://www.jumpingfrog.com).
b.. Ahearn, Allen. Book Collecting: A Comprehensive Guide. New York:
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1995. [Gerard Gormley]
c.. Bradley, Van Allen. Gold In Your Attic. New York: Fleet Publishing,
19--. [Gerard Gormley]
d.. Bradley, Van Allen. More Gold In Your Attic. New York: Fleet
Publishing, 1961. [Gerard Gormley]
e.. Carter, John. ABC For Book Collectors. New York: Knopf, 1966.
[Gerard Gormley]
f.. Tannen, Jack. How To Identify and Collect American First Editions.
New York: Arco Publishing, 1985. [Gerard Gormley]
g.. Wilson, Robert A. Modern Book Collecting. New York: Knopf, 1980
[Gerard Gormley]
h.. 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]
i.. Muir, P. H. Book Collecting as a Hobby: In a Series of Letters to
Everyman, Knopf 1947. [Ken MacIver]
j.. Ellis, Ian C. Book Finds: How to Find, Buy, and Sell Used and Rare
Books, 1996. [Ken MacIver]
k.. Van Wingen, Peter. Your Old Books at
http://www.princeton.edu/%7Eferguson/yob.html, from a pamphlet for the
Association of College and Research Libraries. [Mike Berro]

b.. 2.2 What Are Some Useful Online Guides to Collecting?
a.. The Essentials of Book Collecting at
http://www.lucasbooks.com/collect.html. [Mike Berro]
b.. Books and Book Collecting at http://www.trussel.com/books2.htm.
[Mike Berro]
c.. Litera Scripta at http://www.litterascripta.com. Resources for
readers, rare book collectors, and used booksellers. [Deanna Ramsey]
d.. I have a URL for Digital Librarian where links to a vast and diverse
array of book related information are available:
http://www.digital-librarian.com/bookcollecting.html. [Alana Martin]

c.. 2.3 What Are Some Useful Guides to Repair and Conservation?
a.. 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
b.. Conservation OnLine [CoOL], Resources for Conservation
Professionals, a project of the Preservation Department of Stanford
University Libraries at http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/.
c.. Here is a Library of Congress website for FAQs regarding the
preservation of books: http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/presfaq.html. [John P.
d.. Cleaning and Caring For Books, R.L.Shep, Sheppard Press Ltd, 1982.
[Richard Weaver]
e.. Two good sources of information are
http://www.palimpsest.stanford.edu/ (CoOL--Conservation OnLine, at Stanford
University Libraries) and http://www.solinet.net/presvtn/preshome.htm
(SOLINET's Preservation Services.) [Jon Meyers]
f.. 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]

d.. 2.4 What Are Some Useful Price Guides?
a.. Ahearn, Allen & Patricia. Collected Books: The Guide to Values, 1998
Edition (Putnam, 1997). [Jon Meyers]
b.. 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]
c.. Seaching catalogs on the internet can be useful. There are many
places to do so. MX BookFinder at http://www.bookfinder.com searches many
websites at once. [Jon Meyers]
d.. Reviews of over 40 book price guides and a few other key reference
works are now online at my web site "http://www.svbooks.com/". [Seth

e.. 2.5 Where Can I Find Conservation and Repair Supplies?
a.. University Products at "http://www.universityproducts.com",
b.. Brodart at "http://www.brodart.com/", 800-233-8467
c.. Gaylord at "http://www.gaylord.com/".
d.. Demco at "http://www.demco.com/".
e.. Bill Cole Enterprises at "http://www.neponset.com/bcemylar/". [Mike
f.. Vernon Library Supplies at "http://www.vernlib.com/". [Mike Berro]
g.. Light Impressions at "http://www.LightImpressionsDirect.com". [Mike
h.. For the UK, try D&M Packaging at http://www.bookcovers.co.uk. They
stock a range of book-care materials and supply trade and private customers
with no minimum order. [Liz Palmer]
i.. Bill Cole Enterprises at http://bcemylar.com/index.html.

f.. 2.6 What Software Is Useful To The Book Collector?
a.. 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]
b.. Steve Trussel's site at http://www.trussel.com/books/booksoft.htm
lists many software products for both collectors and dealers. [Mike Berro]
c.. Readerware from http://www.readerware.com is great for beginners who
will need to enter a lot of books initially. [LeeF]

g.. 2.7 Where Can I Buy Book Display Easels?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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]
d.. I purchased some metal easels specifically for books at an art
supply store (Aaron Brothers) for under $5 each. [Mike Berro]

h.. 2.8 Which Reference Works Would You Recommend For Science Fiction,
Fantasy, and Horror?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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]
d.. Reginald, R. Science Fiction and Fantasy Literatu 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]
e.. 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]
f.. 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]
g.. 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 index to several hundred major cover artists; and
a chronology of magazines started by year. [Shep Iiams]
h.. 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]
i.. 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]
j.. 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]
k.. 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]
l.. 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]
m.. 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]
n.. I would also add the Locus online database at
http://www.locusmag.com/index/0start.html. [Lawrence Person]
o.. In addition, you can find a list of antiquarian fantasy and early
horror reference works at http://www.violetbooks.com/bib-research.html.
[Lawrence Person]

i.. 2.9 Where Can I Find a List of Bookstores in a Particular Area of the
a.. A comprehensive list of bookstores all over the world is maintained
by Evelyn C. Leeper at
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4824/bookshop.htm#start. [Mike Berro]
b.. Note that bookstores and bookdealers are not the same thing, and
different guides list one, the other, or both. [Richard Weaver]
c.. SKOOB Directory of Secondhand Bookshops in the British Isles, SKOOB
Books Ltd., 15 Sicilian Ave, Southhampton Row, Holborn, London WC1A 2QH, UK.
[Richard Weaver]
d.. Sheppard Press (London): publishes (or used to publish) directories
of bookdealers in British Isles, Europe, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, USA.
[Richard Weaver]
e.. Book Hunter Press, which publishes the Used Book Lover's Guides at
http://bookhunterpress.com/. [Susan Siegel]

j.. 2.10 Where Can I Find Out How to Grade the Condition of my Books?
a.. Try http://www.trussel.com/f_books.htm. [Dick Stephens]
b.. http://www.abebooks.com/cgi/abe.exe/routera^_pr=glossary. [Parmer
c.. http://www.dogeared.com/AB%20Bookman%20content.htm. [Scot Kamins]

k.. 2.11 Where Can I Get Information About Small Press Publishers?
a.. http://www.smallpress.org/ Small Press Center, representing several
dozen publishers, including Ash Tree. [Jon Meyers]
b.. http://www.cbsd.com/ Consortium Book Sales & Distribution,
representing 68 independent presses. [Jon Meyers]
Yahoo's listing of small literary presses. [Jon Meyers]
d.. http://www.bookarts.com/98badw.html#f Lisitngs from the '98-'99 Book
Arts Directory. [Jon Meyers]
e.. http://lawrencegray.com/WritersCircl...pecialists.htm
Another long list of publishers, subdivided by specialties. [Jon Meyers]
f.. http://www.manuscriptediting.com/pub...allpresses.htm Another
list. [Jon Meyers]
g.. http://red.libsci.sc.edu/~rmiller/english/pubs.html And another.
[Jon Meyers]
h.. http://www.span.org/toolbox/links/ipublinks.html Still another. [Jon
i.. 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 he
http://www.spdbooks.org/. The links page, with links to some of the presses
& other small-press info sources, is he
http://www.spdbooks.org/interact/htm...tml=links.html. [Jon Meyers]

3. Identifying Books
a.. 3.1 How Do I Know If It's a First Edition?
a.. 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.
b.. 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]

b.. 3.2 How Do I Recognize a Book Club Edition?
a.. 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
b.. 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]
c.. 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]
d.. 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]
e.. 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]

c.. 3.3 How Do I Validate an ISBN?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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]
d.. 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]
e.. "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]

d.. 3.4 How Do I Describe the Sizes of Books?
a.. 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]
b.. 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 common number to be printed on a single sheet of paper. [Christopher G.
c.. 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]
d.. 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]
e.. 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]
f.. 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]

e.. 3.5 How Do I Tell If An Autograph Is Authentic?
a.. 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]
b.. There are dealers who specialize in signed material; you should take
your book to one of them. [Ken MacIver]
c.. 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
d.. Try http://www.jillmorgan.com/sig.htm and
http://home.earthlink.net/~criswell/authors/agraphs.htm. [Lawrence Person]

f.. 3.6 How Do I Know If A Book Was Issued With a Dust Jacket?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. The major exceptions are the specially bound books, often limited
editions. If a book is 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]

g.. 3.7 How Can I Determine the Real Name of an Author Using a Pen Name?
a.. Try http://www.trussel.com/f_books.htm. [Steve Trussel]
b.. Try http://www.walshnet.com/walshnet/realname/index.html (though the
Java sound applet is VERY annoying.) [Lawrence Person]

4. The Care and Feeding of Your Collection
a.. 4.1 What Are Some Tips For The Beginning Collector?
a.. Decide what you'd like to collect (certain writer(s), topics,
illustrators, colors, etc.--see thread on "collecting categories") [John
Soward Bayne]
b.. Buy the best condition books you can find and afford. [John Soward
c.. 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.
d.. 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]
e.. 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]

b.. 4.2 How Do I Protect My Collection?
a.. 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 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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-pti.com/pti.html. 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]
d.. 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]
e.. 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 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]
f.. 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]
g.. 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]
h.. 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
i.. Here's a fact sheet on Archival 101:
http://www.magnet.state.ma.us/sec/ar...ac/aacipre.htm. Here's a web page
on boxed storage of books:
http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/slv/conservation/bookstor.htm. Here's an essay on
safe book storage:
http://www.nlc-bnc.ca/cfl-cbgf/liais...-3/rarebk3.htm. Here's an
archival FAQ including addresses of four archival suppliers:
http://www.uwp.edu/info-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
PHOTOGRAPHY & ART ON PAPER & CANVAS (Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities
Research Center, 1989) it is worth having about. Also, Gaylord will provide
FREE factual pamphlets on many of these topics. [paghat the ratgirl]

c.. 4.3 How Do I Clean My Books?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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.]
d.. 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]

d.. 4.4 How Do I Clean The Page Edges?
a.. 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

e.. 4.5 How Do I Clean Vellum Binding?
a.. Milk and cotton wool. Moisten the cotton wool and rub the vellum
gently but firmly. [Jerry Byrne]

f.. 4.6 How Do I Remove Pencil Marks?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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]
d.. 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
e.. I just stumbled onto this page:
http://www.nedcc.org/plam3/tleaf62.htm, "Surface Cleaning of Paper," from
the Northeast Document Conservation Center. This discusses overall cleaning
of larger areas, rather than removing small marks, but still some possibly
useful info here. [Jon Meyers]
f.. 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]

g.. 4.7 How Do I Remove a Label From a Book?
a.. 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]
b.. 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
century ones because they were using friendlier glues. Steaming doth murder
books. [John-Henry Collinson]
c.. 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]
d.. 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.
e.. 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]
f.. 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]
g.. 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
SeŠn Glen]

h.. 4.8 How Do I Remove a Label From a Dust Jacket?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. I use a product called AFTA by Guardsman Products. It's touted as a
professional strength cleaner/degreaser & adhesive remover. [Hardyboy01]
d.. I use Bestine as it removes sticker residue more quickly and cleanly
than anything else I've ever used. Available at most art and drafting supply
stores. [Lawrence Person]

i.. 4.9 How Do I Remove Crayon Marks From a Book?
a.. 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]

j.. 4.10 How Do I Get Rid of That "Musty Smell"?
a.. Try enclosing in plastic bag after dusting with baking soda
liberally. [Jack Evans]
b.. 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
c.. 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]
d.. 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
e.. 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]
f.. 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.
g.. 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 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

k.. 4.11 How Do I Get Rid Of Unwanted Odors?
a.. 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]
b.. Activated Charcoal: I think charcoal or baking soda or any other
odor absorber would also work. [Chris Volk/Shep Iiams]
c.. 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). []
d.. 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. []
e.. 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 ]
f.. 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 ]
g.. 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 ]
h.. 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 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 ]
i.. 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 ]
j.. 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 ]
k.. Diss: Someone also suggested the use of diss... you know - that
stuff they store with film that absorbes moisture. [Nate's Books ]
l.. 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 ]
m.. 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 ]
n.. 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
customers on Vancouver Island. [Wells Books ]

l.. 4.12 How Do I Get Rid of Mold?
a.. 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]
b.. (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
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 reove a lot of that grease, which can be restored in the form of a
very small amount of very low-acidity (ideally ph neutral) 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]
c.. (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]

m.. 4.13 How Do I Get Rid of Foxing?
a.. 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 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
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]
b.. 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 a (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 Wilson]
c.. 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]

n.. 4.14 What Do I Do About Bookloving Insects?
a.. Place your books in airtight plastic bag and put them in your
freezer a couple of days. That will kill the insects.
b.. 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
c.. 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]
d.. 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]

o.. 4.15 How Do I Care For My Leather Books?
a.. 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 )]
b.. I would suggest immediate climate control. Get the humidity and
temperature down and keep them there. [Gerard Gormley]
c.. 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. ]
d.. 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. It's recommended
to rotate books so they get the treatment every six months. [Bill
e.. 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]
f.. 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!)
g.. 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]
h.. Try ordinary Vaseline, the kind you get in any supermarket. [John
i.. 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]

p.. 4.16 Can I Fix A Cocked Or Slanted Spine?
a.. 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]
b.. 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
c.. 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]

q.. 4.17 How Do I Repair a Water Damaged Book?
a.. 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]

r.. 4.18 Should I Remove Rusted Staples From a Pamphlet?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]

s.. 4.19 How Do I Halt Paper Deterioration?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]

t.. 4.20 How Do I Stop Binding Glue From Becoming Brittle?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]

u.. 4.21 How Do I Pack Books When Moving?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]
c.. 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]

v.. 4.22 How Do I Get My Books Signed?
a.. 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]
b.. 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]

w.. 4.23 Should I Rebind An Old Book?
a.. 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
b.. 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
a.. 5.1 What is the Difference Between "First Edition" and "First
a.. 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 bound. Such
inserted leaves are called cancels. Later printings of fiction, poetry etc.
would probably not differ from the first except for correcting typographical
and grammatical errors. [R. R. Knott]
b.. Technological advances in the nineteenth century allowed for
printing from a larger (usually)metal plate which would include the text of
an entire page, leaf, gathering etc. This plate could be melted down and the
metal reused or it could be stored and kept for later printings. Thus it is
harder to change the text and make corrections but deletion of text (such as
a date on the title-page) or the addition of text to a blank section (such
as "Third Printing" on a copyright page) is still easy. [R. R. Knott]
c.. "Modern First Editions" is an area of collecting (usually
literature) where the establishment of the actual edition is paramount.
Since there are seldom editorial changes made after the book is published
the term "First Edition" really means "First Printing". The term "Second
Printing before publication" indicates that the publisher received more
orders for the book than anticipated and had to get it reprinted even before
it was shipped. Any second printing and pre-publication printings of a title
would not be of interest to most "First Edition' collectors. [R. R. Knott]

b.. 5.2 What is the Difference Between "First Edition" and "First Trade
a.. "First trade ed" means there was some sort of limited edition
published first.. I might add that in earlier times (and now) there are
other, non-trade 1st editions which are not just parts of this proccess ---
private printings later picked up by a mass market publisher, for example.
b.. Another example is T. E. Lawrence "Seven Pillars of Wisdom", 1st
trade edition (I think that is what I have), which states on the copyright
page 'Privately Printed 1926 First Published for General Circulation 1935.'
[Richard Weaver]

c.. 5.3 What does "Second Printing Before Publication" mean?
a.. It means that the book received enough orders (from booksellers)
that additional copies were printed prior to the official publication
(release) date. So it's a second printing. [Seth Steingraph]
b.. In general, and especially for modern fiction books, the first
printing is the only "collectible" edition. [Mike Berro]
c.. However, in some cases, they are collectable in their own right to
completists. For example Steinbeck's 'The Forgotten Village' indicates
"Viking" at the bottom of the DJ spine on the first printing. But the
"Second Printing Before Publication" copies state "Book League" at the
bottom of the DJ spine. [Mike Henry]
d.. "Friar Tuck", published in 1912, had a "fifth printing before
publication". [Mike Berro]

d.. 5.4 What is a "Deckled Edge"?
a.. When paper was made by hand, they used a wire mesh "mold" which was
dipped into a vat of pulp and lifted out by hand with a thin layer of pulp
on it (supposedly the wire mold + pulp weighed about 70 lbs at this point--
they must have been big strong guys!). The deckle was a separate frame that
sat on top of the wire and determined the size of the sheet, by preventing
the pulp from dribbling off the sides. [Ron Bean]
b.. After shaking the mold to remove some of the water and align the
fibers, the vatman removed the deckle and passed the mold to the "coucher"
(pronounced "coocher") who expertly flipped the wet sheet off the wire mold
onto a stack, without breaking or wrinkling the sheet, and placed a sheet of
felt between each layer (the roller at the end of the wire section of a
fourdrinier machine is still called the "couch roll"). When he had 144
layers of paper, he passed the stack to the "layman" who put it in a screw
press to press out the water. A three-man crew could make about 1000 sheets
a day (followed by more steps for drying and sizing). [Ron Bean]
c.. On machine-made paper, a jet of water cuts off the ragged edge as
the wet paper leaves the wire section of the machine, forming an edge
similar to a "deckle edge". It's also possible to "fake it" on a separate
machine [Ron Bean]

e.. 5.5 What Do All Those Book Terms Mean?
a.. ARC: "Advance reading copy." Consists of the sheets of the
uncorrected proof, usually bound in mass-market or trade paperback glossy
wrappers for distribution to reviewers and bookstores prior to publication.
Very rarely other book formats are used. They are distinguished from a plain
uncorrected proof in that the wrappers are usually pictorial and glossy, and
more are produced. Not all books have ARCs or proofs, and some have both, or
more than one state of the ARC. [Mike Berro]
b.. Bookplate: A sticker or label adhered to a book (usually inside the
front cover or on the front free end paper). Some book owners use bookplates
to identify themselves as the owner. [Craig Newtson]
c.. Bookplate: Bookplates, or 'ex-libris' as they are often called (from
the latin, meaning 'from the books of...') can be small art graphics used by
bibliophiles to identify the property of their books. The practice of using
bookplates is over 500 years old. They were, at first, painted coats-of-arms
on rare manuscripts. With Gutenberg's invention of mobile type, printed
ex-libris pasted into books soon followed, as libraries grew. The earliest
known printed bookplate is thought to be the one used by Hildebrand
Brandenburg in Germany to mark the books which, as a rich monk, he donated
to the monastery of Buxheim. DŁrer, Cranach, and any of the sixteenth
century 'Kleinmeistern' ('small masters', because of the small format of
their works) made ex-libris, generally woodcuts but also copper-engravings,
for their friends and customers. The custom spread all over Europe and to
the USA, where it reached its peak in the 18th century. Many celebrities had
ex-libris made for their books, from George Washington to Charlie Chaplin,
and nearly all great artists at some time or nother, made bookplates,
including Paul Klee, Giacometti, Picasso, Dali, etc. [Benoit]
d.. Bookplate: As books became cheaper in the 19th century, bookplates
waned. There was no longer any reason to have pride in one's books, and a
stolen book was no longer a serious loss. But the tradition revived in the
1880s due to the phenomenon of collecting. People realised that bookplates
were both historically and artistically interesting, and reflect the
sociological history of their time. Collectors' societies were founded first
in Britain and Germany, and spread to all Europe and the USA. I suggest you
get in touch with Mrs. Audrey S. Arellanes, president of the American
Society of Bookplate designers and collectors, 605 N. Stoneman Ave., Apt F,
Alhambra, Calif 91801., tel 818 570-9404. Today there are about 30
collectors' societies around the world, even in Japan. They buy and sell
collections; also, collectors commission bookplates from artists, with their
name on them, partly stick them in their books and partly exchange them with
other collectors. Modern ex-libris collections are in fact small-size art
graphics collections, and of great interest. [Benoit]
e.. Cancel: A cancel is something that almost never occurs anymore but
has been quite common in the past. I'll use TOM JONES as an example. It was
re-issued in the first year of publication without change of title pages, in
a page-for-page but not a line-for-line reprint. In the first edition there
are errata for the first five volumes. In the second edition the errata are
removed and the errors corrected. Within the Jerome Kern copy of TOM JONES,
there were "cancels" - corrected pages had been inserted into the collation
of the book. In other words, there were sheets from two different printings
represented in the book. Since the number of pages was the same as it should
have been for a true first, the experts who had handled the book overlooked
the fact that second edition sheets had replaced first edition sheets. A
"cancel" represents a cancellation of an error. [Bill Wright]
f.. Chip: An edge tear (usually triangular shaped) which has resulted in
the loss of a small portion of the dust jacket. "Lightly chipped" usually
refers to a dust jacket with a few chips all smaller than 1/4 inch.
"Chipped" usually refers to dust jacket with a couple of chips as large as
3/4 inch and several smaller chips. [Craig Newtson]
g.. Closed Tear: A tear in the dust jacket that resulted in no loss of
material. When held closed, the presense of the tear should not be obvious
at a glance. [Craig Newtson]
h.. Colophon: The first definition refers to a leaf at the end of a book
providing information on edition, printing etc. The second is a publisher's
ornamental device often located on the copyright page. [Pasha-1]
i.. Flyleaf: The blank leaf (or leaves) between the end papers and the
printing at the beginning and the end of a book. [Ed Schaeffer]
j.. Foxing: A discoloration of the paper in a book, consisting of light
brown spots. Paper containing iron particles or fungus, or both, may develop
such spots with age. Since paper that is of anything less than the highest
quality may eventually develop some foxing, this does not necessarily
diminish the value of any old book, although a dealer should certainly be
expected to mention this condition if offering a book for sale. [Mike Berro]
k.. Foxing: Haller is not totally correct about foxing. The basic cause
of foxing is the presence of acid in paper manufactured from wood pulp.
(Never live down-wind from a pulp or pulp and paper mill.) The acid is used
to break down the wood fibres. Manufacturers of better pulp paper will
attempt to neutralize the acid but this can not be done 100%. Also the acid
in the paper will not be evenly distributed and will work more on some
fibres with the result that some parts of the paper are more porous than
others. These more porous areas are more likely to absorb contaminants
(dust, fungus, chemicals, oils etc from the fingers of readers handling the
paper, etc.) which discolour these spots. Books that have been kept in very
clean conditions will not suffer foxing as much as books that have been
subject to constant bombardment by dust, smoke etc. Humidity will also
affect the process with more humid air being capable of carrying more dust
etc. to say nothing of the fungus etc. that humidity promotes. [R. R. Knott]
l.. FPT: "Freight Pass Through." This acronym, found on some dust
jackets, means that the price includes shipping. The presence of this
acronym is an indication that the book is not a book club edition. [Steve
m.. French Flaps: Trade pb covers with inturned "front flaps" and "back
flaps", as if the cover were covering boards, except it isn't. A bit of
fancy packaging ostentation. [Patrick Nielsen Hayden]
n.. Frontispiece: An illustration presented before the beginning of a
book's text (usually before the title page). [Craig Newtson]
o.. Galleys: Back in the dark ages before MacIntosh, (but following the
darker ages of hot metal) printers used a process of shooting negatives from
positive film. The negatives were then used to make plates to print the
books. The positive film was supplied by the book compositor (those people
who typeset books) and was known as "repro". In order to ensure the fonts
and other typographic elements were shown as they would appear in final
form, the compositors ran repro at every stage of production (usually three
stages -- galleys, pages, and final pages).
p.. Joint: The exterior juncture of the spine and covers of a (usually)
case-bound book. Although the term "joint" is often used to indicate the
internal juncture of the board paper and fly leaf of a book, the more
appropriate term here is "hinge." [Moi the Bibliomaniac]
q.. Laid In: Refers to a separate piece of paper, like a note, envelope,
or review slip, placed in the book without any adhesive. [Bud Webster]
r.. Laydown: A bookseller's term for a book that has been shipped to
resellers prior to publication, and is not to be displayed or sold until the
publication date. [Mike Berro]
s.. NAP: "No additional printings." Many publishers do not explicitly
identify the first printing of their first editions (with a number line or
with a copyright page statement like "First Edition" or "First Printing" or
"First Impression"), but they do state later printings. So FEs from these
publishers can be identified if no additional printings are listed on the
copyright page. For example, you might see a dealer listing a copy of the
first printing of Thomas Harris's "Red Dragon" (Putnam, 1981) with the
notation (NAP), because that was Putnam's system before 1985. [Jon Meyers]
t.. PBO: Paperback original, a book that was first released as a
paperback (i.e., no previous hardcover edition.) [Lawrence Person]
u.. Photo-play Edition: A book that is illustrated with still
photographs from a motion picture. These editions were most popular during
the 1920's. A photo-play edition may or may not be a first edition.
Photo-play editions that are not first editions often command premiums over
other reprints. [Craig Newtson]
v.. Price Clipped: Most books have the price printed on the dust jacket,
usually the top right corner of the inside flap. People often clip this off
(diagonal cut) when giving a book as a gift.
w.. Remainder Mark: A remainder mark is a line drawn by a magic marker
or some such thing across the top or bottom edge of a book to identify the
book as a remainder so that book doesn't come back to the publisher from a
bookseller as a return on a full price. Ian Ellis, in BOOK FINDS (1996),
states that such marks knock 20% or more off the price of an otherwise
"mint" book. [Ken MacIver]
x.. Soiled: A book or dust jacket that is discolored by the presence of
a foreign substance such as dust or dirt. If the contaminate has actually
damaged the integrity of the book this damage should be noted seperately.
Damage due to water/moisture should not be referred to as soiling (generally
speaking). [Craig Newtson]
y.. T.E.G.: "Top edge gilt", meaning that the top edge of the page block
has been painted gold. One reason is that it makes books easier to dust.
Also "A.E.G", which is "all edges gilt."
z.. Tipped In.: Lightly attached, by gum or paste, usually at the inner
edge, as opposed to bound in or sewn in. [Jon and Kate Butler]
aa.. Trade paperback: A book that may be returned to the publisher for
credit. (To save money on shipping and storage, mass market paperbacks have
the covers stripped off the paperback and returned to the publisher, who
credits the store for the paperback as though it was returned.) Most of the
time (but not always) a trade paperback will be closer to the size of a
hardback than a mass market paperback. [Lawrence Person]
ab.. WAF: "With all faults."

6. Value Judgements
a.. 6.1 Are Book Club Editions Valuable?
a.. At least some are "collectible", if not valuable. Don't ever make
the mistake, as I did, that there is anything that is not collectible. [Mike
b.. I believe it is agreed that, in general, book club editions are not
collectable. However, I have found that for some authors and some editions,
book clubs are preferable to paperback originals. These are usually sought
by readers rather than "collectors", but even this isn't universally true.
For example, Danniel Steel fans like to collect the hard covers of her
books, but the early ones were only available in paperback. If these are
found, their usually in pretty ratty shape. For this reason the book clubs,
which ordinarily go for from $2 to $5, may command prices from $8 to $15 and
even a bit higher if signed. [Jeff Kreider]
c.. Ideally, in my collection of C.S. Forester, I'd have a copy of every
edition, including BCEs, paperbacks, what have you. [Mark Wilden]
d.. The Folio Book Society publications will always be collected.
Collin's Crime Club (which was a different sort of Book Club) will always be
collectable as long as people want to buy Agatha Christie firsts. Gollantz
(sic) Left Wing Book Club etc... The list goes on and on! [John-Henry
e.. Speaking as a SF collector, there are several books that are first
editions from the SF Book Club ("Lord Foul's Bane" by Donaldson springs to
mind). As a result, these are certainly collectable. Also, given the number
of paperback only titles in the field, the book clubs are also collectable
as "cheap hardcover" editons (early C.J. Cherryh comes to mind). However, in
all cases that I am aware of, the book clubs do NOT command that much of a
price (about equivalent to collectable paper backs). [Joe Kalash]

b.. 6.2 Do Signatures Enhance Value?
a.. The signatures of the author(s) and/or artist(s) generally enhance
the value of a book. If the book is inscribed to a (famous) friend or
acquaintaince of the author, it is called an "association copy", and is
usually even more desirable.
b.. Inscriptions can add as little as $5 to the retail value. If a book
is so obscure as to be unsellable, a signature may not change that. On the
other hand, some author's signatures are worth a bundle. [Mike Berro]

c.. 6.3 Do Dust Jackets Enhance Value?
a.. John Carter's 'ABC for Book Collectors' (1995 edition. p 82): "The
earliest recorded dust-jacket dates from 1832..." [Steve Trussel]
b.. For modern books, very much so; often a book without a DJ will be
worth 10-20% of one that has it. [Mike Berro]
c.. In the October 11, 1993 copy of Forbes Magazine there was an article
on book collecting, and it stated that the dust cover comprises about 80% of
the book's value. [L. S. Kriner]

d.. 6.4 How Does a Remainder Mark Affect Book Value?
a.. Ian Ellis, in BOOK FINDS (1996), states that such marks knock 20% or
more off the price of an otherwise "mint" book.
b.. For any mark, you'll find someone for whom it is irrelevent, and
another for whom it makes the book worthless. I think 20% is a reasonable
rule of thumb. Personally, I think the "neatness" of a remainder mark
affects value, as does size, and most importantly (for me) position. A
remainder mark on the top is a lot more visible. [Mike Berro]

e.. 6.5 Are Lower-Numbered Limited Editions More Valuable?
a.. Speaking as someone who has done some limited edition publishing, as
well as assisted with LE prints, I've found that some assumptions made by
collectors aren't necessarily true. For instance, #1 or letter A is by no
means the first one off the press, so there's nothing to make it marginally
better reproduction, or closer to the original creation, or similar
idealism. By the time they've been checked, packed, shipped, unpacked,
stacked, etc., #1 is just the first one off a given pile. Except for very
short LEs, the signer takes breaks during the sequence to rest the hand, eat
lunch, and in one case, take off for two weeks on vacation! In the case of
fatigue, a signature on #49 (just before a break) could be almost illegible,
while one on #50 (after lunch and a nap) could be superb. For my own
collection, it's never mattered what the number was. I'll admit I've never
tracked sales records on any to see if it mattered on the secondary market.
[Steve Thompson]

7. Miscellaneous Odds and Endpapers
a.. 7.1 Who Is Responsible For Shipping Problems?
a.. West's Business Law, Second Edition, quotes the Uniform Commercial
Code paragraph 2-509(1)(b) as follows: "Risk of loss can be assigned through
an agreement of the parties. Assuming that there is no spcification in the
agreement, if the seller is required or authorized to ship goods by carrier,
risk of loss passes to the buyer when the goods are duly delivered to the
carrier." The Uniform Commercial Code has been adopted in all states except
Louisiana, as of 1983 when this edition was published. [Bill Fishman]
b.. Of course, there's not always a correlation between the law and
standard business practice, which in bookselling appears to put the onus on
the seller, until the item has reached the buyer's doorstep. [Mark Wilden]

b.. 7.2 What Are "The Little Leather Library" Books?
a.. The Little Leather Library was founded around 1915 and sold millions
of volumes before ceasing operations in 1923. It was a significant example
of mass-marketing. Initially the books were sold through Woolworth's, then
by mail order. You could buy 30 of the little volumes boxed for $2.98,
C.O.D. The series was conceived by Albert Boni, who sold his interest and
then went on to start the Modern Library. His partners in the venture, Harry
Scherman and Max Sackheim, used what they learned about mail-order selling
of books to start the Book-of-the-Month Club. Woolworth's sold a million
copies a year, and 35-40 million volumes were sold by mail. They aren't too
hard to find and aren't worth very much--a couple of dollars a volume would
be about right. A boxed set of 30 volumes might sell from $50 to $100. A
historically significant venture in publishing, and so successful in its
brief heyday that the books have little value today. [Gordon B. Neavill]

c.. 7.3 What Are "The Modern Library" Books?
a.. The Modern Library was published continuously from 1917 to 1970
(sewn bindings), then from 1980 to 1985 or so (perfect bound - that is,
glued), then from 1990 to the present (I believe perfect bound). Over the
years they have appeared in several bindings comprising at least 18 binding
style variations. Titles have been added and dropped over the years. By 1970
(which ended the really classic period of the series) about 750 titles had
been published (1000 or so if you count different translations of the same
non-English piece, and different intro's and the like). At any one time, the
most titles in print was 396 regulars and 102 giants (1970). There were also
21 illustrated titles published in the middle 1940's, and a batch of
paperbacks. Get a copy of Henry Toledano's Modern Library Price Guide 1917 -
2000 2nd Revised Edition   (1999, privately printed). Check out
http://www.dogeared.com for more information. [Scot Kamins]

d.. 7.4 What Are "The Everyman's Library" Books?
a.. For those who are interested, I discoved that Everyman itself puts
out "The Reader's Guide to Everyman's Library." The 4th edition (ed. Donald
Armstrong Ross, 1976, number 1889 in the Everyman Paperback series) "lists
and describes all the books published in the Library, including Everyman's
University Library, from 1906 to 1975, a period of seventy years." The book
doesn't include prices (which is fine), but it makes an excellent checklist
for completists. [Scot Kamins]
b.. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill purchased the
archives of the J.M. Dent Co. (original publishers of the Everyman Library
Series) several years ago. It is divided between the Rare Book Collection
and the Manuscripts Department, both in Wilson Library at UNC. There is a
wealth of information about the history of the Everyman Series in both
manuscript and printed forms. Any future bibliographer of the series would
need to use this collection. One of the major disappointments of the
collection, however, is the absence of a complete collection of the Everyman
books published by Dent. We are slowly trying to remedy that
situation. --Charles McNamara / Curator of Rare Books / Wilson Library / UNC
at Chapel Hill [Charles McNamara]
c.. http://www.randomhouse.com/everymans/ is a site for the new items in
the series, including an alphabetic catalog of (I believe) all current 250
pieces in print. I excluded this site, as I would exclude Random House's
Modern Library site, because I don't consider the current perfect-bound and
overpriced issues worth collecting. (snort.) [Scot Kamins]

e.. 7.5 What Are "The Little Golden Books"?
a.. A series of children's books published by Whitman. There is a Little
Golden Book collector's indentification and value guide, also includes
Wonder Books and Elf Books. It is by Steve Santl, ISBN 0-89689-105-4. [Pat
b.. The book by Steve Santi is available directly from the author via
Email at . He's a very nice guy and even sends it signed.
[Neil Williams]

f.. 7.6 What Is The Earliest Known Dust Jacket?
a.. In the 18th Century magazines of the sort we now loosely call "news"
magazines were first published. The earliest of these was THE GENTLEMAN'S
MAGAZINE which started in 1731 and was followed the next year by THE LONDON
MAGAZINE and thern by others. These were monthly publications which became
so popular that they were sold as annual volumes as well. Though the monthly
issues were not bound, they were sold tied together with string, the first
page containing the title and index, the second containing sometimes more
index information and sometimes almost anything. The entire assembly was
cpvered in a blue-gray jacket of the cheapest paper, which typically
contained, below the magazine's name the logo, date, price & advertisements,
chiefly for books for sale. Thus these were definitely cheap protective
covers of a small loosely bound book and were forerunners of the dust
jacket. I make no claim that these were the first of their kind, only that
they existed. [Lawrence G. Blackmon]

g.. 7.7 What Are "The Roycrofters"?
a.. Roycroft was a handicraft community founded in East Aurora, NY about
1895 by Elbert Hubbard. He was a retired soap salesman who briefly met
William Morris and became enamored of Morris' Arts-and Crafts Kelmscott
Press. He started the Roycroft press in 1895 and it was very productive
until his wife and he perished on the Lusitania. At the time there were over
500 'craftspeople' working in the village. Letter to Garcia is the most
famous with thousands of variant printings, as is The Scrapbook. Numerous
writers 'ghosted' his biographical sketches (Sadakichi Hartmann wrote a
particularly scathing history of his employment at Roycroft). Collectible,
but nowhere near that of Kelmscott. [Steve in Dallas]

h.. 7.8 What Are "Harlequin Romance" Books?
a.. Romance paperbacks that are marketed primarily to women.
b.. Early Harlequins (below #500) are very scarce. They don't turn up
too often on auction lists, or anywhere else for that matter. The first 500
include Historical, Adventure, Non-Fiction, Sci-Fi, Western, etc. It is not
until about the 500th that they go strictly Romance. [Blake at LDC]
c.. Harlequin Books #1 is "The Manatee" by Nancy Bruff, 1949. Jon Warren
says Harlequin also published Laser Books. Notable Authors in the first 500
include: Ben Hecht, Sam Merwin, Jr., James Hadley Chase, Harry Whittington,
Edward Ronns (Edward S. Aarons), Eric Von Stroheim, Day Keene, Johnson
McCulley, David Goodis, Edgar Wallace, Agatha Christie, and John Russell
Fearn. [Blake at LDC]

i.. 7.9 What Are "Laser Books"?
a.. There were a total of 58 volumes of Lasers published from 1975-1980;
all have Kelly Freas covers. According to Jon Warren's Official Paperback
Price Guide, there were 3 published each month, from Aug 75 to Feb 77. The
last three are by far hardest to find, having been distributed to
subscribers only. #9 by Aaron Wolfe ( a psuedonym of Dean R. Koontz ), KW
Jeter, and Timothy Powers are also generally harder to find around here. The
only one with no number, by Thomas F. Monteleone, the "collectors edition"
is most common in our area, found by the handful. There is no current price
guide that I am aware of for these paperbacks. You can try the paperback
auction guides, Huxford's paperback price guide, or Jon Warren's old guide
for guidelines. We typically sell the more common titles for $10 to $15 in
mint condition, and the others higher depending on demand, and relative
rarity. Also, signatures of Freas and the authors will increase the value in
our experience with collectors. [John Kuenzig]

j.. 7.10 What is a "Pulp" magazine?
a.. "Pulp" refers to a specific kind of magazine, printed on pulp paper
with slick (but thin) covers. The last real "pulp" was the 2/58 issue of
Science Fiction Quarterly. Pulps were mostly 7"x10", with minor variations
(and some not so minor - "bedsheet" issues were 8.5"x11.75"). There are
other characteristics, but the majority of the sf/fantasy magazines that
were around from the 50s up are properly called "digests", and measure about
5.5"x7.5". Astounding/Analog started the trend in 1943, and by 1949-50,
almost all of the newer magazines (Other Worlds, Galaxy, F&SF, etc.) were
digest-sized. It's become common for people who don't know what they're
talking about to use "pulp" as an all-encompassing term (comic dealers,
mostly) [Bud Webster]

k.. 7.11 What Are "McGuffy Readers"?
a.. The McGuffey Readers were probably the most significant series of
American textbooks. They were widely-used between 1830 and 1920 and some
versions are still in print today. For the most part, the ones with the
greatest collectible value are those which have copyright dates before 1879
when Van Antwerp Bragg published them in large quantities over several
decades. For these textbooks the name of the publisher is helpful in
verifying the vintage. For example, Henry Ford had fond memories of these
and fueled much of the interest in the books in the 1910s and 1920s. I
believe that he purchased William Holmes McGuffey's schoolhouse and brought
it to his Dearborn, Michigan heritage park of historical buildings. The
reprints in the 1920s were sold there and mostly published by American Book
Company (I believe). The most recent editions (still in print today) are by
Van Nostrand Rinehold (the nice ones) and by Mott Media. The earlier
editions often have the name "Smith" in the publisher name though there are
some variations which I have not seen documented. The books for the youngest
children are natuarally the hardest to find. These books tended to be used
for generations and received heavy use. A copyright date of 1879 is one part
of the puzzle but the publisher name is another along with the condition.
"Fair condition" is typical but usually not especially valuable as a book
collectible. It would sell for much more in an antique store venue where
aesthetics (how would this look on an old table?) are more important than
condition and content--the most important factors for books collectors.
[James D. Keeline]

l.. 7.12 Are "Literary Guild" books book club editions?
a.. The Literary Guild has always been a book club. According to Charles
Madison's "Book Publishing in America," the LG began in 1927 (I'm assuming
from context, because Madison doesn't state the date explicitly) - three
years after BOMC started up. One of the central figures in its establishment
was Harold K. Guinzberg, also one of the co-founders of the Viking Press;
Guinzberg was responsible for bringing in Carl Van Doren to make the
selections. In 1929, Doubleday bought a 49% interest in the LG, and then
acquired the remaining interest in 1934, after which the selections were
made by Nelson Doubleday and the manager of Doubleday's book clubs -
without, Madison claims, "noticeably lessening the quality of the volumes
distributed." [Jon Meyers]

m.. 7.13 What Are "Sample" Books?
a.. From what I know about them, "sample books" were created for the
booksellers who worked for publishers. They would take them to the book
stores to show the owners upcoming publications. From these teasers, the
book store owners would place there orderes with the salesmen. I'm not sure
if these books were left with the book stores or not. I think it's something
the publisher reps would keep with them. I've seen a couple for sale in a
used bookstore in Manhattan. I think they're very cool, but I'm not sure how
collectable they are. [Jon Olsen]
b.. There was a time when books were commonly sold door-to-door. The
salesperson would have a sample to show the customer. Often the back of the
book had a list of orders for them to fill out. Sometimes, especially for
sets of books, the customer could order the binding of their choice.
Although the door-to-door salesperson is gone, you can still pickup up free
excerpts of books at some stores. [Mike Berro]
c.. "Sample books" is exactly the right term; also "canvassing books."
They were used during the 19th & early 20th centuries for just what you'd
imagine: Salesmen would show them to potential customers. Sometimes the
books included not just a sample of the text & illustrations but also showed
binding options that the customer could choose--cloth or leather in various
colors, spine & cover decoration, endpapers, edge-gilding, etc. And some of
these books also had the customer list or subscription forms bound in.
Apparently, the largest collection of these books has been amassed by a man
named Michael Zinman; there is a published bibliography of his collection,
entitled "Canvassing Books, Sample Books, and Subscription Publishers'
Ephemera 1833-1951 in the Collection of Michael Zinman." The April 1997
issue of "Biblio" magazine has a short article on Zinman's collection
written by Nicholas Basbanes, who also wrote about some of Zinman's other
collecting interests & exploits in his book "A Gentle Madness" (Holt, 1996).
[Jon Meyers]

n.. 7.14 What Are The Different Types of Leather Binding?
a.. Morocco is now probably no more than a name used to indicate leather
binding. It used to denote goat leather from Morocco, then later goat
leather from the Cape. I've seen the name applied to leather that was
clearly oasis leather, though I don't know if it was an honest mistake, or
indicates a shift in the meaning of the word. [Anders Thulin]
b.. There's also calf leather -- a very smooth leather with none of the
grain of traditional goat leather. It's not quite as strong, but it makes
for very impressive gold tooling. [Anders Thulin]
c.. Vellum can hardly be called leather -- it's specially prepared calf
hide. It very strong, very stubborn, can react almost violently to moisture,
and requires a very different technique for bookbinding than leather binding
does. [Anders Thulin]
d.. Sheep is just what it says -- leather from sheep hides. Used for
'cheaper' bindings, as is leather from cow hide. Sheep leather can be very
thick, in which case it can be split -- that kind of leather is usually
known as 'skiver', and the lower half is usually stamped with a faked grain
to look like morocco. [Anders Thulin]
e.. There is no fundamental quality inherent any of these names. A first
class oasis leather is better than a third class morocco, even if 'morocco'
is the traditional fine bookfinding leather. And if the leather has been
'pared to the quick' so to speak, it doesn't much matter what leather it
is -- it has lost much of it's protective qualities, and only looks very
sharp. [Anders Thulin]

8. Buying and Selling Books
a.. 8.1 How Do I Sell Books On The Internet?
a.. If you sold it to a dealer you should expect 1/3 to 1/2 of the
value. On the net, advertising it in the correct place (not here) such as
rec.arts.books.marketplace, you might get 70% to 80% (most books I've sold
there seem to sell at 80% of their market value or lower). Check
www.alibris.com or www.abebooks.com for examples of what is currently for
sale, and conditions to compare yours to. [John Kuenzig]
b.. If you offer a book to someone on the net (or elsewhere) make sure
to note any defects or imperfections that may be present, as defects usually
impact what someone is willing to pay. The book, dustjacket, and slipcase
(if any) should be described, and the signature as well if smudged or
unusually bold, etc. Be sure to offer a return policy as well if you sell it
directly - many people on the net will not purchase without such a policy,
as there are so many variations in how book condition is described. A 5-10
day return policy in same conditon for a refund seems to be generally
accepted. [John Kuenzig]
c.. Another avenue is the auction sites such as e-bay. I have purchased
a few items here, but haven't tried sales yet. I have noticed that some
items seem to go for more than their "market value", and many others far
below. Others here may have some experience as well, but it is still
critical to note defects. [John Kuenzig]
d.. There are now many websites that allow you to list your books for
auction or sale (classifieds.) Three of the biggest are at
http://www.ebay.com, http://www.amazon.com, and http://www.yahoo.com. [Mike

b.. 8.2 How Do I Find Books On The Internet?
a.. For English, French, German, Italian and Spanish try
http://www.dealpilot.com/booksadvancedsearch.html. [Fred Goodwin]
b.. For Hebrew books, http://www.mitos.co.il is probably the best, but
it requires a Hebrew font and (preferably) understanding Hebrew. [Lavie
c.. For books in German, try http://www.justbooks.de, or their UK site
http://www.justbooks.co.uk. For Swedish books, try http://www.bokborsen.se/
or http://www.adlibris.se/. [Denise Enck]
d.. Advance Book Exchange ("ABE") at www.abebooks.com is one of the
largest. You can order direct from the seller. [Mike Berro]
e.. Bibliophile at www.bibliophile.net, "Over two million new, rare and
antiquarian books listed." You can order direct from the seller. [Mike
f.. ALibris at www.alibris.com, "Books you thought you'd never find."
[Mike Berro]
g.. Amazon at www.amazon.com, besides selling new books, also has a used
book section, and an auction area. [Mike Berro]
h.. Yahoo! at www.yahoo.com has an auction area. [Mike Berro]


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