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Never keep books in a basement of garage. The mildew on them is a fungus that doesn't stop growing. In other words it is a living organism.
To clean good books use a light touch with a damp cloth. Make sure they are not left in a damp place to dry (or ever for that matter).
Thanks to Denise
Opening a newly acquired book in a manner to make it last.
The back of the book is the part that breaks, to prevent this -
I was recently asked if I knew how to get rid of the musty smell in books. After some research I found a few answers which I thought may be of interest to other people.
Do not push your books completely against the back of the shelf. The paper needs "breathing room". This will help to eliminate a musty smell.
Do not pull the book off the shelf by the top of the spine and it will cause the binding to weaken in this spot. They should be grasped firmly in the middle of the spine.
Tips courtesy of "Siren" of the USA.
Setting up home for the first time, perhaps a room at University, bedsit or flat-sharing, here's a quick and cheap way to make some bookends for your shelves.
Find two unwanted 45 rpm or LP records (please make sure they are unwanted by everyone not just you!)Draw a line across the record, about one-third of the way up: heat with a hair dryer along both sides of the line until flexible enough to bend. Alternatively, pour boiling water along the line, but be careful. Bend to a 90 degree angle to form a corner and dip into cold water to cool.
Whoops! there goes that glass of water all over your book - don't panic.
Put the book into a frost free freezer, this will draw out the moisture and unstick the pages.
If this leaves the pages wrinkled put a sheet of paper on top of each page and press with a warm iron. This will also flatten wrinkled corners.
Picked up a bargain in the secondhand book shop but need to clean the leather binding.
Using saddle soap, or petroleum jelly apply sparingly and gently with your fingers or a piece of muslin, felt or chamois leather. Leave for several hours and then repeat.
Books can be dusted by using a shaving brush soft paint brush or the dusting brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner.
If books have become contaminated with mould or mildew (caused by keeping in damp conditions), wipe off the bindings and pages gently with a clean, soft cloth. If they are still damaged, wipe them with a cloth dampened with alcohol, then fan out the pages to dry. Alternatively, sprinkle some cornflour (cornstarch) on the pages, leave for a few hours, then brush off gently.
To avoid those Library fines keep a note of return dates on the front of your fridge.
Pat Sutton has sent in the following warning:-
My local library is now 'self service'. Unless you remember to press 'receipt wanted' you go off without any note of a return by date.
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