home > on keeping moldy books > questions to consider

When trying to decide whether you ought to keep a moldy book, consider the following questions:

  1. Is this book absolutely irreplaceable?
  2. Will discarding it bring down your overall collection value?
  3. Is the mold infection fairly small and compact? Or is it larger, encompassing many parts of the book, or growing within the structure or binding of the book itself?
  4. Does it appear to be relatively dormant? Or does it appear virulent, as though something is actively growing?
  5. Does the idea of keeping the book among your prized possessions give you an unpleasant shiver?

How you answer the questions above will help determine whether it is worthwhile attempting to salvage this particular molding gem.


Books Gone Bad - Mold in Library Collections was a project sponsored by Maine College of Art, in partnership with the Joanne Waxman Library. Funding for this project came from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. The Project Lead and Artist for this project was Diane J. Wren. All contents Copyright © 2011 by Diane J. Wren. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of Diane J. Wren.