Sunday, November 18, 2012

Books: Saving Max Weber

I ran into the classic problem faced by book hounds while out at Magus Books near the University of Washington last week -- what to do when you stumble across something you already have?

In this case, it was a rare edition of Max Weber's very famous, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in what seemed to be very good condition, with the dust jacket, for only $10.

I already had this book, a 1948 2nd printing, a bit worn, with no jacket.  I found it in a bookstore on Clark Street in Chicago many years ago.

The new copy is the 3rd printing of this edition, from 1950, is tighter and far less worn than my older one is, so why would it be priced here for a mere pittance?

There must be something wrong, so I took a closer look.

Folks, this is why you beat your kids.  Beat them, beat them some more, then lock them in the cold garage for a few weeks.

Crayon marks and a torn endpage!  The humanity!

Well of course I picked it up.  $10 ... heck, I would pay that just for the dust jacket.  So far, I tried removing the crayon with an iron and absorptive paper, which did not work.

Here's how it looks on my shelf -- without the dust jacket, next to my 2nd printing and a 1st English edition of Troeltch's classic Social Teachings of the Christian Churches.  The 3rd printing of Protestant Ethic is on the right.  George Allen & Unwin was the great publisher of the Continental scholarship of its day.

Anyone have any suggestions for removing red crayon from 62-year old paper?


Michelle said...

Worth a shot?

christiangustafson said...

Thanks, Michelle. I'll pick up a "kneaded eraser" on the way home and give it a shot.

I've got a couple other books to bring in for professional help. One volume of my Goethe set lost its cover, and I have a guidebook from the Columbian Exposition that has become very dry and brittle. I know a place in Pioneer Square, Seattle, that should know what to do.