Feb 23, 2011

Holding a Book Sale? Watch Out for Mildewed Books!

A friend of mine recently attended an antiquarian book fair in San Francisco, where scores of booklovers and vendors met to discuss things like the value of a first edition Wizard of Oz, or where to get a 15th century illuminated manuscript. In other words, these are people who have a passion for books unbeknownst to average mortals.
 
books.jpgWhich is why I found one of the Q&As especially interesting. Someone asked what impact mildew has on the value of a book. The response? "Throw the book out." Mildewed books are apparently not only unappealing, but an actual health hazard, particularly to people with respiratory sensitivities.

And the mildew can spread to other books, as described in this writeup on Biblio.com. As you read it, take careful note of the suggestions for how to store books so that they don't develop mildew problems. And if you're holding a fundraising book sale, consider this your official permission to simply toss any books with a bad smell into the recycle bin.