Magic Fungus

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby malbright » 02/17/07 02:59 PM

Several of my contemporary books are starting to develop those dreadful small white patches of fungii on the covers.

What do you recommend to get rid of it, and how do you prevent it?

I've learned a lot through my googling, but I would be interested in hearing from you collectors out there what your strategies are.

Thanks for helping!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/17/07 03:11 PM

Fungii?
Any of my books?
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Postby malbright » 02/17/07 03:26 PM

Expert Coin Magicespecially the clamshell.

Most of the affflicted books have exiled to another part of the house and hermetically sealed, so at the moment I can't recall if there are any others ... but probably. :(
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 02/17/07 04:40 PM

Holy Moly...or is it Holy Moldy?

Sounds like you need a dehumidifier in your library.

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/17/07 05:30 PM

I don't have that problem with any of my own books, nor any other books in my library--and it's much more humid here in DC than where Michael lives.

Curious.

Yes, a dehumidifier certainly.

I believe you wipe the mold off with a diluted solution of peroxide, but don't take my word for it--Google it!

Oh, there is one moldy thing in my library ... it's a file of an old magazine called The Conjurer from the 1970s. :)
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Postby Guest » 02/17/07 06:13 PM

What pages? What words?

Is it trying to communicate?

What does it want?

Have you discovered a new effect or presentation for book tests or predictions?
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 02/17/07 06:37 PM

I heard that if you have book bugs(choose your species) that you should put the book in plastic bag, seal it and put in the freezer for a few days. I think this would work on fungus too.

As for being moldy, it sure sounds like too much moisture. You may want to get those silica pouches and seal them in a plastic bag to get rid of the smell. Also, USED (keyword) dryer sheets do the same thing. The sheets and the book should not be touching inside the sealed plastic bag. It may take a week or three to smell the differnce.
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 02/17/07 06:39 PM

Forgot. They sell something in the hardware store too to dry the air. It's called Dry something.
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Postby malbright » 02/17/07 09:48 PM

Actually, I live pretty close to the beach so humidity is a big problem. As is the fact that I have enormous bookshelves all over the house. I'm thinking I should encase the place in a giant ziploc house bag with several thousand silica pouches.

Mr. K: That mold on the old issues of The Conjurer. If you scrape it off, underneath is the name of your card.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/17/07 10:23 PM

Michael, you need at least one dehumidifier in every room where you have books. You'll probably have to empty them every day.
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Postby malbright » 02/17/07 10:43 PM

OK, now we're getting somewhere. Dehumidifiers. Check.

Any other thoughts? How do the rest of you deal with this, and how do you clean it off/kill it?

Thanks!
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Postby Guest » 02/18/07 01:38 AM

Years ago,when I purchased some Gen magazines,and several magic books,I found some of them lightly mouldy.I contacted the Italian book care center,and other specialized establishements,that saved so many rare books after the Florence flood.They all told me that the magazine/books must be enclosed in a kind of oven and gassed.I tried a home made recipe that worked for me,it need patience as for bookbinding by hand.Talcum powder lightly spread on the pages.Then between each page put blotting paper,good toilet paper works too.Repeat till success.
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Postby Dave Egleston » 02/18/07 09:19 AM

I've got a copy of Behnke's CONSERVATION OF MAGIC - I'm on my way to Vegas and the WMS but here is what I could find in the mean time:

Preventives are to keep your libraries dry cool with the barest minimum of access to the outside atmosphere - as stated above, dehumidifiers.

Unfortunately, almost all fungicides are hamful to human. One safe formula to be used as a sterilizer is a 70% solution of ethanol in distilled water.

Sunlight is the best cure, but you have to expose each of the infected pages. So, let the book with the bad pages open to the direct rays of the sun for about 5 minutes for each open two-page spread. At the same time the book will be able to rid itself of the musty smell so common to mildew and mold..

All the visible growth that's now dead can be removed with a soft cloth and the more sturdy ones with a very soft eraser, the best is the "kneaded rubber" by Eberhard Faber or Sanford. Be sure to do this outdoor with a fine particle mask. If therre is still a stain, you'll have to take it to a qualified bookbinder and have it bleached out.

Check the books you've treated in about 10 days to two weeks to see if you've really eliminated the root of the problem...... and ivest in a dehumidifier.

The aboove is out of Leo Behnke's book and is a mixture of direct quotes and paraphrasing.

I'd normally offer to lend you my book --- but gee.....fungus?

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Postby Kevin Connolly » 02/18/07 09:57 AM

Yes, there's a fungus among us. :eek:
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Postby Guest » 02/18/07 10:36 AM

I'd buy a de-humidifier and run it periodically.

You might also want to buy a high quality true-HEPA air filtering unit and run it. It will slightly heat the room up and it will pull out any spores.

I use both in the winter in my apartment which is prone to mold and they work great.

I'm not positive, but I believe moving air reduces the chance of mold formation as well, so just running a fan in the room constanctly might help a bit.
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 02/22/07 09:05 AM

Hi Michael--definitely get a dehumidifier, and also, buy a digital humidity gauge. I purchased mine at Radio Shack, and it's a must. The gauge will tell you the precise humidity percentage of your room, and the temperature. It's worth every penny.

I own a number of acoustic guitars, and the optimum humidity for these instruments is around 40% to 45%. The percentage is an indication of the water content in the air. Anything under 40, and the air starts to become too dry. Above 50 and things start to feel wet. I suspect that books should fall in that category...
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Postby Mark Collier » 02/22/07 10:56 AM

I ordered a dehumidifier from Sears about 7 years ago. I am still amazed at how well it works. I too live near the ocean and depending on the weather, I empty the 6 Qt tank every day. I can set it to run a certain length of time but I just choose the humidity setting and it starts and stops itself until it shuts down when the tank is full.

I recommend getting one of the bigger models. It has a stronger motor and doesn't have to be emptied as often. I think I paid about $250.00 and went from a serious mildew problem to no problem at all.
Good luck,
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Postby Guest » 02/22/07 11:04 PM

This may not be a fungus. It may be silverfish. Silverfish are particularly fond of some of the dyes used in red book covers. They do attack others as well. They leave behind an irregular whitish patch.
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Postby Guest » 02/23/07 01:17 PM

I lived in Houston many years ago and had the same problem Bill mentions....only I thought mine was cockroaches! To this day, my copies of Down's Art of Magic and Malini and his Magic have those chewed white patches. I guess they enjoyed those titles the best.

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Postby Leonard Hevia » 02/25/07 01:36 PM

One of my magic mentors who passed away recently left me a copy of the Malini book. The red cover also has those white patches. This thread answered that question for me.

BTW--This thread motivated me to crack open my copy of Leo Benke's text The Conservation of Magic. He writes that the optimum humidity for books is 50% to 55%.
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Postby malbright » 03/10/07 09:45 AM

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded. You were a major help. I purchased dehumidifers and humidity gauges, and it's made a world of difference. I was fortunate in that the infestation was minor, but it was definitely on the road to being a major disaster. As usual, the Genii community has come through again, and I really appreciate it!
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Postby Leonard Hevia » 03/13/07 06:21 AM

You're welcome Michael!
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Postby Kevin Connolly » 03/13/07 07:11 PM

<--- Tips Hat :cool:
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Postby Brad Henderson » 03/29/07 05:26 PM

Any suggestions as to specific models or things to look for in a dehumidifier? Best place to buy? What should one pay?

Thanks!!!!

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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 07:08 PM

Michael....

This may not apply to you, but years ago, I married a sweet young thing and was just overjoyed that she really liked to dust everything, because I have allergies. Then one day I noticed that she was using a damp cloth to wipe down my magic books......

...She is still living, but she has not been within three feet of my books, with a rag, since....

I placed the books directly under the ac vent for a good hour or so, before I propped them up overnight with nothing next to them, before returning them to the shelves....

That won't help you with the problem you have, but you might want to check out how your mate cleans up dust....

opie
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Postby malbright » 04/01/07 07:56 PM

After I decided to take the wise advice offered on this Forum, I researched dehumidifiers like crazy and finally settled on this model:

http://www.amazon.com/Soleus-Air-CFM-40 ... 94&sr=8-10

So far, it works like a charm. It's quiet, easy to empty and light. I'd heartily recommend it. In fact, now that I know it's a good model I'll be buying a few more.

As for the girlfriend, I never have to worry about her dusting the tomes with a damp rag, as she wears a special electronic collar that gives her a jolt should she come within a yard of the bookshelves. Unfortunately, I still have to worry about helping her regain consciousness when she happens to stray too close, but it's a decent compromise, I'd say, and she's a very good sport about it.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to help me solve my sticky icky problem.
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Postby Guest » 04/01/07 08:58 PM

Where do you get those collars?........opie
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