Jan 18, 2013

What I'll do for a good rat, I mean read!

I finished a book! Woooow... It took 5 months... Don't misunderstand, I read a lot of stuff, just very rarely do I find/make the time to read a novel for pleasure. However, when I discovered that the movie "Willard" (and its sequel "Ben") were based on a book published in 1969 called Ratman's Notebooks by Stephen Gilbert I had to hunt down a copy!  This was an excellent read, with almost nothing supernatural and just a very bizarre and believable relationship between a man and his basement-full of rats. 

But what I really wanted to share with you, what I really think is blog-worthy, is how I "saved" this book.  I purchased it online through abebooks and when it arrived I knew there was trouble: opening the packet released a musty, damp basement smell.  Upon inspection, and removing the dust jacket I discovered white "clouds" on the black fabric cover: mold.  No, no, no!!!  I wanted not only to read it, but also add it to my collection of rat books!  What to do?  After asking around and reading online, I devised my "recipe" for book rescue:

First, I threw it into the freezer, for about two weeks while I researched but it probably only needed 48 hours.  Then, I rubbed it down with rubbing alcohol (using a cloth I then discarded), getting the cover saturated but not overly wet.  After thoroughly drying outside in the sun and wind, the book went back into the freezer, 48 hours.  Finally, I wiped it down again with rubbing alcohol and again let it dry in a very well ventilated area.  The end result:  there appears to be no more mold and the book has just that pleasant old book smell.  Now, after 5 months there is still no sign of any growth and I feel that I can safely place the book with the rest of the collection, although I think laying it on top of the shelved items so it's still well ventilated and gets the occasional check to make sure nothing has changed. 

So, there you are, a book rescue remedy!  If you've ever experienced this kind of literary emergency and created your own recipe, I'd love to know about it! 

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