Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bookmending - repair that repair!

Another book-repair post, largely information that my regular readers have run into here before, or knew anyway. It may be new to passers-by.

This is a case where I took a book apart because the bad repair job someone did on it was driving me nuts.

I try not to let people who repair books badly annoy me so much, but years as a librarian, facing well-meaning ladies who would put stripes of Scotch™ tape across the pages on each side of a binding break, and hand it to me with a beatific smile and an "I helped you by fixing this poor book" -- while I tried not to dive across the desk and conk them with it -- depleted my stock of patience. Which was never high.

Tape on pages doesn't hold a book together, it only pulls on the pages it's attached to, crumples and rips them, it makes a mess, why do they think it will help??

But anyway, this is different, and I ought to have a little more tolerance for people who glue the text block into the spine. It's wrong, but I grudgingly admit that it seems logical to them.

To any readers who don't know this :

The actual spine of a hardbound book is, 99% of the time, not supposed to adhere to anything.

This seems counterintuitive but it's true. The text block has a backing that extends onto the book cover, and attaches there only. Then the attached part gets covered up by the endpages.

Yes, really, trust me. Pull down any hardcover book and peer down inside its spine. You can. You can even hide notes and paper money in there if you want to. That's because it's unattached, OK?

Allow me to illustrate with a 2174-page 1935 Lincoln Library, which is huge enough for its structure to show clearly in a photo :

Back to the problem book I worked on: someone, many years ago, glued it back together by gluing the text block to the spine, and not only that, but didn't even place the text block correctly inside the cover. He/she slud (past tense of slide - implies sloppiness, as opposed the too-neat word "slid") it down to the bottom edge.


Here, I'm gently separating the spine from the text-block (the text-block is the complete bundle of actual pages). It's worth a very careful try, though in most cases, they won't separate and you need to leave it as is. In this case, the repair job was so old that the glue had become nice and brittle, and released the spine intact :

Fixed now. As well as I can fix it. The spine is now free from the pages, shown by the inserted dollar. It's more obvious in the Lincoln Library photo, further above. I can only make the book so neat after what it's been through, but handling it doesn't drive me nuts anymore.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sigh of relief

OK! So. I might be tempting fate by saying this, but it looks like another hurricane season has let us off the hook. The season isn't over until November ends, but it's quite a bit past its peak now, and we're -- knock wood -- starting to relax.

The worst part of hurricane season for me has always been worrying about my mom. The idea of her home getting swept away was particularly awful for her, and she was the first to admit it. It dated back to 1937, when her own mother was seriously ill and my mom, age 10, was sent out of state to live with relatives for a year.

Mom was an only child in a very close and loving 3-person family and the brief loss of her home, without knowing whether her mother would recover, was traumatic. The possible loss of "home" was a hard prospect for her ever after. (My grandmother, by the way, recovered nicely and lived to 86. Wish the doctors and her family could have known it then!)

In 1989 Hurricane Hugo took everything in their downstairs storage, but the house and most contents came through fine. But as we prepped in 2008 for what looked like 3 serious storm threats, when she was older and very sick with (alleged) pneumonia, I was very worried about what the loss of her home, if that happened, would do to her.

And I'm not worried about it anymore. She never had to face that and I am more grateful for such a mercy than I can express.

We're getting good at storm prep. I know where everything I want to save is, and won't forget some of the most important things -- quilts, blankets, afghans, all with special associations and all of which would make recovery from a major home loss easier. Things that connect me with loved ones are great to hold, but even better when I can wrap them around me :

The beautiful afghans my mother-in-law crocheted for Larry and for me;

Another lovely afghan made by my great-grandmother in the 1940s or '50s;

A quilt my mom bought for me, here in Myrtle Beach on a trip 30 or so years ago;

My blue plaid blanket that went to camp and to college with me;

Sheets and Pooh blanket from the kids' childhood;

A throw, gift from the kids to their dad.

Lots more. Some of which will go with us, and some of which we'll seal into plastic bins (in plastic bags, bins taped shut; make them as impermeable as we can) and wedge into a closet that we think will come through intact enough for the boxes to remain. Rained on or not.

And if we can get enough of this stuff out, or protected ---- some part of me is weary and fed up and thinks, "Who cares what we come back to!"

Only a part of me. If it really happened, I'd care a whole lot, I know. It's the weariness speaking. I don't really need a great cleansing flood. I do need a vacation though.

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you get a hairdo, you can be Episcopalian too!

Our church directory photos, around 1970. Both taken at the same time, so why we're not all in one photo, I don't know. I thought there was one of the 3 of us (my father's work schedule not allowing him to make the assigned appointment. Yeah, right.), but I can't find it.

Really makes you wanna rush to your nearest Episcopal Church and sign right up, doesn't it?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Marsh shadows

Shadows lengthen over the Murrells Inlet marsh, as the sun nears day's end. Tide's coming in, too.

Series of photos taken between 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM EDT,
on October 8th, 2010.

This is the view from my folks' yard, looking over toward Huntington Beach State Park.

To see it bigger, here's the link to the flickr file!