Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The joys of cataloguing

I haven't catalogued anything for ages, so have boxes and boxes of books lurking. So, it is about time I got on with it, and I am tackling my main love, the horse and pony books, first. Sometimes it's a good job, mine. Particularly gorgeous is C W Anderson's Heads Up - Heels Down, which will be in the next set of books uploaded to the database, hopefully at the end of this week.


I had to have another look at this book to restore my faith in readers after opening the next book in the pile. It was obviously owned previously by a very, very heavy smoker. I was knocked back by the reek. The book is now consigned to the book deodorising crystals, where I think it might have to be for some time. This wasn't such a grim experience as some I had when I worked at the library. This was in the dim and distant past when we still hired out videos (them new fangled DVDs were few and far between). When one came in, we had to open it up to check the video was actually there, and hadn't been chewed by either the baby or the dog. The absolute worst videos to open were the ones which had been borrowed by people who smoked and had an addiction to deep fat frying. There was something about the videotape which seemed to take the worse elements of both, add in a touch of rancid decay, and then stew it all to a fetid reek which then leapt out at you when you opened the case. Very good at holding in the stench, is your average video case.

Heads Up - Heels Down is a very useful thing to focus on when your stomach is heaving.

5 comments:

Moggypie said...

Oh, I always loved CW Anderson. Still have my childhood editions, and found "Heads Up, Heels Down" recently. Thankfully, an odor-free edition. One word: Febreze!

Val said...

Lovely picture..the crystals sound very useful

Jane Badger said...

Yep, book is being Febrezed as we speak.... the crystals have disappeared into the mess that is the packing room. Really must pull myself together and tidy it up.

Oakleaf700 said...

Smelly books...It never occurred to me to ask a seller if their book smells.
But..bought a couple recently that REEK of damp.
That classic fusty smell that isn't nice, and the books weren't old, 1960's hardback, and a 1970's one.
Assume the sellers kept them crammed together in an airless damp place?
The pages had no cockle-ing and no damp marks, but the smell was really off putting.
Tobacco would be intolerable.
I tried fanning the pages out and leaving them in a sunny window to air.. but the smell still lingers.
Does febreeze actually work? have only seen febreeze as a spray, so assume you use another form of it?
But on another note..bought a Joanna Cannan 1st edition [no DJ] a pony for Jean..it was cheap.
It didn't have any odour, so why so cheap?... I settled down to read, and oh no! some prior owner had coloured in one of the illustrations in watercolour.
There was no mention of this in the advert, but as the book was under £10 inclusive of P&P I will let the matter rest.
I to brutalised an early Black Beauty awarded to a family member in Victorian times for ''good attendance'' by colouring in some of the engravings..in felt pen. [mid 1960's]
I weep.

Jane Badger said...

Yes, you need a bit of damp to start off that rank, mouldy smell. Sadly it does infect other books, so it's worth putting the books in the freezer for a month to kill the mould. It won't do anything about the smell, but is supposed to stop the mould spreading!

In the British climate, you need a really strong belt of sun to get rid of the smell, and a good solid few days out in that sun. From memory, I don't think the Febreeze worked, alas. The book deodorising crystals do work. Cat litter works sometimes - needs to be the sort that absorbs odours though!

I too have a few books with illustrations coloured in. At least they've left the text alone! I also, ahem ahem, was guilty of colouring in when little. I share your shame.