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!