Page:The Art of Bookbinding, Zaehnsdorf, 1890.djvu/208

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168
BOOKBINDING.

remaining intact, and on inquiry found that turpentine had been used in the paste. He then ordered that for the future all paste should be mixed with some such poison. This precaution had the beneficial result.

It is not only in Europe that these worms make such ravages in libraries. In the warmer climes they appear to be even more dangerous. And it is a fact that certain libraries are almost a mass of dust, by the books (and valuable ones) falling to pieces. Nearly all authors on this subject agree that the paste which is used is the first cause, or a great help, to all the waste committed by these dangerous bibliophobes. Then something must be put into the paste which will resist all these insects and keep them at a distance. The most suitable for this is a mineral salt, such as alum or vitriol; vegetable salts, such as potash, dissolve readily in a moist air and make marks or spots in the books. From experience, it is most desirable to banish everything that may encourage worms, and as it is very rare that persons who occupy themselves with books are not in want of paste, for some repairs or other, either to the bindings or to the books, subjoined is a method of preserving the paste and keeping it moist and free from insects.

Alum, as employed by binders, is not an absolute preservative, although it contributes greatly to the preservation of the leather. Resin as used by shoemakers is preferable, and in effect works in the same way; but oil of turpentine has a greater effect. Anything of strong odour, like aniseed, bergamot, mixed perfectly but in small quantities, preserves the paste during an unlimited time.

Or, make the paste with flour, throw in a small quantity of ground sugar and a portion of corrosive sublimate. The sugar makes it pliant and prevents the formation of crust on the top. The sublimate prevents insects and fermentation. This salt does not prevent moisture, but as two or