So, somebody let me loose at a library book sale.
Not too bad, though. 46 books for about $27! (The lady went a little easy on me, I think, because I bought so many.)
But each book I buy goes through a special process before I put it up on my bookshelves.
How I Do It:
1. Remove plastic and barcodes
When I buy books from the library, 90% of them have a barcode sticker, a plastic jacket cover, or both. I remove them.
Like this book, for instance, had a barcode sticker across the top. Stickers are pretty hard to get off without leaving a mark, but at least all that was on this cover is a couple of white marks (on her hair and in the words) but it's better than the sticker.
This time, I didn't have any books with plastic covers, but if I did they would certainly be gone. They annoy me to no end.
2. Clean the covers
Lots of dust and whatnot accumulates on book covers (especially on the old ones like I bought).
I got all sorts of dust and smudges off this book (unfortunately there's nothing I can do about scratches).
I clean with an ever so slightly damp paper towel (and a smidgen of soap, if needed). This is what the paper towel looked like...
...after cleaning these books:
By the time I finished, I had gone through two more!
I had to be careful, though, because certain books (older with fabric-y covers) have to be cleaned sparingly. If not, the ink will start to come off!
Some books are smelly. Mostly it's cigarette smoke (gross), but other scents can really stink up a library. I haven't perfected a method of stink removal, but a pretty effective way are dryer sheets!
Cut/rip them into strips and insert them inbetween pages. It works pretty well, though some smell may linger.
And then the book goes on the shelf, dryer sheets and all, to await the end of time...or the end of their smell.
So far I've got four books currently undergoing treatment.
4. Flip through the pages
I cannot say how many hidden treasures I've found in books. Some of the coolest things are left between the pages. Like...
Newspaper clippings! When I bought this book, I had no idea that the lady who had owned it before me had stored several articles she had clipped from newspapers. They ranged from wedding announcements to recipes, all forgotten in a book called "Domestic Science; Principles and Application".
This is a copy of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" that, upon looking through the pages, has uncut pages! Not all of them are uncut, but a lot are and I just about died when I saw them. So cool!!
Letters! In a book about writing letters! Ironic, huh?
I can't begin to count how many inscriptions I've come across. I like finding them because it means that the book really meant something to the previous owner.
And the list goes on and on, including:
And finally, they're ready to be catalogued and arranged on a bookshelf.