18 September 2011

Sadness, then Joy

OK, this has nothing to do with the Bastard's Blade, but I thought I'd share.

Long story short, when I moved to New Jersey, I left all my AD&D 1E and 2E hardcovers in bankers boxes and stored them in the garage at our old place in Pennsylvania. Today, my wife and I went back to PA to do some work on the house, and I figured on bringing back the books.

Unfortunately, mould had claimed them, due to poor storage and about 3 Earth years (and, frankly, the fact that I'm a lazy ass who couldn't be bothered to bring them back earlier).

Sadness. These are the books I had since high school, about 25 years ago. The ones with my notes scrawled in the margins. The ones with my name dutifully written on the inside front covers of each. The ones that Noble Knight Games said were worthless because of aforementioned notes and names. Bitches.

They weren't waterlogged, they were entirely legible, and they were completely intact. But the front covers were coated with this sort of troublesome patina of white spores. As in, "Sure, you can brush it off, but now wash your hands immediately." I'm wary of bringing them home and having those spores infest my other books, my carpet, my walls, and my lungs. And, also, my wife. Because if we both got sick because of some mouldy D&D books, I'd probably feel guilty enough to quit the hobby.

So I left them in the bankers boxes. They're sitting in the garage now. I couldn't bring myself to just toss them in the trash, but all the same, I really don't think they're usable. Or safe.

Lesson learned: store your books in plastic. Unless your books are on your shelf, and you can see them daily, put 'em in a wrapper.

To whit: I was able to salvage a box worth of modules and assorted supplements, which I had stored in plastic sheet protectors. Huzzah.

Joy Part: Back in 1991, I managed to score a full set of 1E hardcovers in absolute mint condition. Like, brand-spankin' new. I've never used them, read them, or even opened them beyond a casual flip. I bought them at a gaming shop in New Hope, PA (which, sadly, is now out of business - Toys For Men, anyone?). Thinking they might someday be collectors items, I put then in a trash bag and keep them in a metal strongbox. Too much?

Not after today's discovery. While my "working" copies are lost to fungus, at least I still have access to these great books.

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