Taking care of vintage books is relatively easy, but requires diligence. I periodically go through my recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s library to make sure that there are no pests or mold breakouts, and I have had good luck.

Until now.

I recently found that my copy of The War Lover by John Hersey had a small colony of mold growing inside, and it’s a type of mold I haven’t encountered. The book is a former library book and the mold is growing where there used to be tape on the inside cover. This appeared in the last year, and while I have worked to get rid of mold in other vintage books, I think this one might be above my abilities. Additionally, the book is in poor condition beyond the mold. It seems to have been a semi-popular book at the San Antonio library (the library sticker is still attached to the cover).

The War Lover is, coincidentally (or fortunately), my least favorite book from Marilyn’s collection (that I have read so far). You can read a summary of the novel here. The book was made into a movie in 1962, and I sincerely hope that that is the reason why Marilyn owned this particular novel. The movie was filmed in 1961, the same year Marilyn Monroe was undergoing a number of health problems related to endometriosis. The film was released a few months after her death in 1962.

So I now am looking to dispose of this book. This is one of a few former library books in my collection, and I have to say that while they tend to come at a discounted rate, they are often the most abused books. I also have a copy of Mischief that is a former library book, and it has missing pages, damage from tape, and a broken spine.

I think, from now on, I will try to make sure the books I purchase for my Marilyn Monroe collection are not former library books.

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