Throwing away books

There’s something about books that makes them really hard to throw away. This morning I was registering some more of the books Lytteltonwitch gave me, and came across a couple that were damaged beyond my limited book-repair skills. One had obviously been chewed on by a dog, which in itself isn’t always fatal for a book – you can stiffen up chewed covers with card and clear tape, and return it to a readable condition – but in this case, some of the pages had been badly torn, and despite somebody’s efforts to patch them up with sellotape, sections of the text were missing:

(The green paper behind the torn pages is just to make them show up better in the photo – you couldn’t really see how bad it was in the first photo I took)

The second book wasn’t damaged as such, but it had a rather impressive crop of mould growing on it.

I’m sure it *is* possible to remove mould from books, but I wouldn’t know where to start without damaging the book even more, and I was worried about the possibility of any mould spores I missed in the cleanup travelling to other books. So that one went in the bin too.

The weird thing is, despite the fact that I *knew* both books were beyond repair, and that neither of them were books I’d particularly wanted to read, so they were destined for wild release anyway, where the chances are I’d never have heard from them again (only about 20% of wild releases get journalled), I still felt really bad about putting them in the bin. I’m still sitting here thinking “maybe I should have done some googling on how to remove mould”, “what if I went to the library and photocopied the missing pages from another copy of the book and pasted them in?”… What is it about books that their destruction instills such guilt in us? It’s not like *I* damaged them, after all – I was just the one who pronounced them dead.

RIP, little books :-(


Currently reading: More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon