Just Curious and Curiouser

Ven ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Mon Sep 24 22:33:30 EDT 2001

I can't begin to count how many books have taken a dip in the 
bath, including one from the library which they charged me for and 
then put back on the shelf -- which I thought was a bit cheeky. And 
the  stupidest thing I ever did with a library book was to leave it in a 
phone box outside the library--  after I had read the first twenty or 
so pages in the library caff and was left feeling quite bereft (it was 
Jane Gardam's After the Funeral). There was a copy of the Hobbit 
covered in pinholes from the teeth of a litter of kittens, and from 
that litter Rocky, I'm sorry to say, didn't exempt books from her 
tendency to throw up over things.

Here's a top tip; if you have stained a book with chocolate icing or 
similar, fuller's earth will reduce the stain from a strident, greasy 
brown to a pale biscuit colour. When I did this to a book, which I 
had  faithfully promised not to spindle, fold, mutilate or soil,  the 
stain went throught a number of pages. IIRC I sprinkled the powder 
on each page then put the book at the bottom of a big pile of 
others, to compress it, for several days. I've no idea what fuller's 
earth is called elsewhere in the world, it's a very fine greenish clay 
and in the UK can be bought in small packets from chemists. It will 
absorb all kinds of oil and unpleasantness, but NB, if used on cats 
leaves them a bit green.

A supplementary question: unusual places/circumstances that 
books have been read in? I used to go up the apple tree to read 
when I lived at my parents, and while living in a converted factory 
would climb onto the roof.

You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.

Samuel R Delany. "The Fall of the Towers"
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