Strange surface damage on Tolkien editions

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Strange surface damage on Tolkien editions

heinäkuu 16, 2022, 4:05 am

A poster over on Tolkien Guide asked a question about some major issues with the gilt corroding on his Tolkien set. My guess was humidity or having been cleaned with something unsuitable, but he claims that he received the books in shrink and no adverse storage.

Anyone seen this before?

heinäkuu 16, 2022, 9:33 am

Looks like the first two have been read. The moisture from one’s hands, not even being noticeably wet, over the course of a single reading can have that effect.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 16, 2022, 9:45 am

Moisture humidity damage.

If from reading you will usually just see that effect in a few areas, not evenly spread like that.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 16, 2022, 3:54 pm

>1 stubedoo: Edit: Rewriting this post since I've now gone and read the story on the other forum. OP claims that these books were stored in the same way as the other three that look fine. This just seems unlikely. That definitely looks like high-humidity, moisture-related damage. That doesn't just "happen" to any book. I think he wanted EP to replace books that became damaged due to his own negligence or ignorance. Maybe they were stored on a bookshelf near an old window where condensation formed? Something like that might explain it. And the leather itself looks splotchy. Assuming there's not some odd effect happening with the photograph, if I swiped my finger on those books, I'd expect to come away with mold dust.

>3 Wootle: I agree completely. I live in a highly humid area, and I know what this type of damage looks like, for sure.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 16, 2022, 11:32 pm

Thanks guys - it looked totally consistent with long-term moisture exposure to me. I just wanted to be sure I wasn't giving bum advice (and that there wasn't a bad batch of books that had been warehouse damaged or some-such).

(Edit: worth adding, the OP didn't get the books direct from EP, so it may not be anything to do with his storage that caused the problems -- one never knows the history of a book from printer to bookshelf, especially when a publisher may get returns, check them over and re-sell them)

heinäkuu 16, 2022, 7:17 pm

Humidity levels and temperature differences often work in gradients, so physically, those first two books could have been experiencing a different local climate.

>3 Wootle:
Quite true.

heinäkuu 17, 2022, 12:16 am

I asked for the thread over on TCG to be deleted. The OP of that thread misread WhyteWolf1's response as if it had come from me (maybe he was reading on mobile or something) and wasn't too happy about the statement of "negligence" and "ignorance". He sent me a somewhat upset PM with the picture of his shelf, and to be honest, it all looked fine. But equally you can't see what the RH is from a picture. He closed his account before I could respond, unfortunately. I don't think he was trying to pull a fast one, though -- I do believe that the change in condition of his books was a genuine mystery to him.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 17, 2022, 3:45 pm

I'm not a specialist, but find this question interesting: Is it possible that this is a mix between possibly not 100% ideal conditions one might not recognise as such (not everyone can afford a library with temperature / humidity control and protection from light) and some flaw in the production? To give an example: I have a bookshelf on which only a single one of a large number of books developed a faded spine. It doesn't get direct sunlight, but my window doesn't have UV protection and even indirect light was too much only in that one case. It was obviously because the red of the spine was a lot less light-fast than any other book on that shelf (and there were many). Of course under absolutely perfect conditions, this wouldn't have been an issue, but under what one would consider normal conditions, the spine faded and it did show a lower production quality due to the clearly faulty choice of colour. I wonder if those Easton Press titles were produced separately and there were differences between them that led to this damage without conditions being such that you might 'blame' the owner? He really seemed honestly shocked and baffled to me. As would I be if something like this happened, especially to books of the same series by the same publisher where the ones right next to them on the shelf are absolutely fine.

heinäkuu 17, 2022, 11:48 am

>8 SF-72:

If the defect was limited to just the gold foil stamping on the cover, one could argue a manufacturing defect, sure. The gold foil stamper gets clogged or runs out of gold fluid or whatever - and a quantity of books have poor stamping. They fix the machine and move on. And any good manufacturer would scrap or repair (if possible) the defective product, too.

But didn't the leather of the first two books also look different from the other three? That suggests either a secondary mode of damage/defect and more than likely, the same mode (water ingress) applied to two different materials (gilt and leather). In other words, they more likely shared the same adverse environment than were subject to a manufacturing defect.

Also, on a separate note, I find it highly suspicious that a simple inquiry about those books would evoke such an emotional response as to close one's account. What were they hoping for? Even if everyone commiserated with them and agreed it was 1000% a manufacturing defect - nobody on LT or The Tolkien Guide have any sway over EP customer service.

And finally, the laughable part is, if EP did happen to replace just those two books, odds are they would have a slightly different shade of green, or maybe sit 1-2 mm higher or lower than the other three.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 17, 2022, 12:44 pm

>7 stubedoo: lol... oh well, sorry to hear he got so upset. I'm sure I wouldn't have been quite as direct with my thoughts had I been responding to him directly.

And maybe I've gotten just a little cynical with all the stuff people try to pull online, but honestly, calling a "manufacturer" of some product a couple of years after you received it, presumably, trying to angle for a replacement (which is what he suggested saying they wouldn't "help him," since he didn't have an order number, etc.) when you didn't even order it from them and pay for it yourself seems, well... a little shady.

>9 treereader: "Also, on a separate note, I find it highly suspicious that a simple inquiry about those books would evoke such an emotional response as to close one's account. What were they hoping for? Even if everyone commiserated with them and agreed it was 1000% a manufacturing defect - nobody on LT or The Tolkien Guide have any sway over EP customer service."


heinäkuu 17, 2022, 3:53 pm

>10 whytewolf1:

I didn't even catch the part about them not having an order number. Did they really admit that in their Tolkien Guide post? What a joke.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 17, 2022, 6:03 pm

Yeah, the situation as described was that they had received the books as a prize a couple of years ago, but had been unable to get the order details from whomever the prize had come from. That was the only details he gave about the origins of the books.

I can't see that EP would have done anything in regards to replacing hese books unless they had a known issue with a production run, tbh. From the pictures it just looked totally like moisture damage, and without the OP having a known history for the books prior to him getting them, it would be a hard argument. They could have come to him via a very tortuous route, even if his storage was good and the damage had been set in motion earlier. I'd say they were probably some days where it was humid and the temperature dropped rapidly, and condensation formed and crept between the books. That would kill them in short shrift, even if conditions were generally OK on a day to day basis.

All very odd. I do feel sorry for him. Although on the other hand, he sent me an email telling me off for a post I didn't even write, so my sympathy is limited...

heinäkuu 17, 2022, 8:38 pm

>11 treereader: He got them as a prize or something. He didn't buy them from EP himself.

heinäkuu 17, 2022, 8:40 pm

>12 stubedoo: "on the other hand, he sent me an email telling me off for a post I didn't even write, so my sympathy is limited..."

Lol... I guess that would be my fault. Sorry about that. I would gladly have taken the brunt of his umbrage.

heinäkuu 18, 2022, 12:18 am

>14 whytewolf1:

Ha Ha No worries. He wasn't rude - he was just extremely put out!

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