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Topic: Can dust stain?

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Subject: Can dust stain?
Date Posted: 10/16/2009 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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I received a book today that I'm not quite sure what to do with. I would be very hesitant to swap it again because of its age and because of what it looks like. The page edges at the top of the book are completely charcoal black. It does not wipe off, it does not smell. Could the color of the top of the book be due to dust? Can dust alter the coloration of the book? Is this something I should let go, or would you RWAP this?

http://s965.photobucket.com/albums/ae132/vampsita/?action=view&current=photo.jpg



Last Edited on: 10/16/09 4:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/16/2009 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2009
Posts: 81
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That almost looks like some sort of edge coloration to me...

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
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I think it's just decorative edge coloring.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ydmLqoYeSyY/Rng9sYxJQYI/AAAAAAAAAK8/zR_vNoakbD0/s320/colored%2Bedges%2Bof%2Bbook%2Bresized.jpg

I've seen some in the past that were very dark. I think some were done to match dust jackets they no longer have.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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It looks like (possibly faded) edge coloration to me, too.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 5:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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Wouldn't it be all around the whole book, though, and not just the top?

There are still books out there that do the decorative staining, but it's all around the whole book. One example I know of is "Poison Apples" by Lily Archer. They are stained red to go along with the apples theme.  The mass market of "Wicked" is green page edges, also all around the whole book.

This doesn't exactly match well with the red and white dust jacket.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Wouldn't it be all around the whole book, though, and not just the top?

Not always. I've seen it just done on a few edges, for dramatic effect, and would depend on the publisher. What ever artisitcally they thought would look nice with the unevenly cut edge, and how much money they wanted to spend fooling with it.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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Weird...

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 10:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2009
Posts: 81
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Maybe they just put it on the top since that's really the only part you would see when the book is on the shelf between other books...

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,384
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The side edges are rough cut, which would not have been stained.  The rough cut (deckle) edge shows off the quality of the paper.  Is the bottom edge also tinted?  Does the tint match the cover, underneath the dust jacket?

This type of detail makes me think that you are holding a first edition.

Date Posted: 10/18/2009 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
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I found a description of one that described the sides at...

http://www.paperbackswap.com/forum/topic.php?t=183507&l=25&ls=0#p3708275

Book Description: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984. John Updike -- 1st Edition 1st Printing -- FINE/FINE -- copy of The Witches of Eastwick. 8vo. 307 pp. First Trade Edition. Fully bound in purple cloth, with the author's name and a decorative rule silver-stamped to the front board. The title, the author's name, the publisher's name, and two decorative rules are gilt-stamped to the spine. The fore-edge of the text block is attractively rough-cut, and the top edge of the text block retains the publisher's original black topstaining. The spine is cocked a few degrees, the tail of the spine is a trifle bumped, and the very bottom edge of the front board is a few shades sunned. The corners are sharp, and the text is clean and sharp throughout. The pictorial dustwrapper is in Fine condition and retains the publisher's original price of $15.95 to the top-right corner of the front flap. The head of the spine panel is a trifle rubbed. A lovely copy of Updike's popular fiction, made more popular when adapted into film. Published by: New York: Alfred A. Knopf 1984. Bookseller Inventory # 16813

(And they're asking $65 for it.)

Date Posted: 10/20/2009 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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$65??

Actually, while we're on the topic of this particular book, I have a bit of a concern. There is a small gap between the inner part of the cloth spine and the bound part of the pages. No pages are loose, but they are not attached to the inner spine. Is this normal for hardcovers? I have compared this with some other hardcovers that I have, but the bound part of the pages are generally attached to the inner part of the hardcover binding. I'm not sure if I am explaining this well enough, so here is a picture.


http://s965.photobucket.com/albums/ae132/vampsita/?action=view&current=photo-1.jpg


This is the oldest book that I have, so I would rather be safe than sorry.

Date Posted: 10/20/2009 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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Yes, that's normal.

Date Posted: 10/20/2009 2:15 AM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 3,041
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Thanks, Sara. It just seems like a far bigger gap than most hardcovers I have seen.

Date Posted: 10/20/2009 3:41 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
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Yeah, sometimes they are like that. Sometimes the gap is just big, not sure if its a difference in binding technique or just due to binding becoming looser over time. I even have some expensive paperbacks (textbooks and cookbooks) where there is an "inner" spine and an "outer" spine, and it gaps open like that when you open the book up. I like it becasue the book lays open flat.