How NOT to fix books…

Ugh. So there’s a couple of these videos on YouTube about “How to Repair Flaws in Used Books” that are absolutely wretched from a conservation AND personal-safety standpoint. In the first one, the woman douses the corner of a poor book with Ronsonol Lighter Fluid…aka NAPTHA, a dangerous, carcinogenic, flammable solvent (click for a PDF of its MSDS). Yes, go ahead and risk your health (not to mention the condition of your book) just to get that annoying price sticker off the book you’re going to sell on eBay for $20. Also, fire safety be damned!

In a second video, the same woman shows us how to remove an inscription (i.e. somebody’s name) from the fly-leaf or title page….WITH TAPE. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH. Provenance be damned!

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