You can file this under ‘stupid bookseller tricks’, if you like, even I am not immune from them.
I was sitting there last week at this contract job, where I catalog books for insurance. And I’m taking my little break, stuffing my face with a Cornish meat pie and a Scotch egg, I got NPR on the headphones, and I am checking my email. And the customer comes over to me and hands me a book and without thinking, I wipe my hands on my pants and take the book. Where did I make my mistake?
I knew something was bad the MOMENT, it happened. My normal routine is to shove food in my mouth, get up stretch my legs, take a pee and wash my hands, come back and start typing again. The customer delighted to showing me the Jean Paul Sartre signature on the endpaper had upset my routine and I had mindlessly taken the book with my bare unwashed hand. Ninety percent of the time, that happens without dire consequences, but there on the gray cloth boards were marvelous FBI quality fingerprints. I wanted to vomit.
I spent the rest of the afternoon wanting to puke. It wasn’t until I got the book back to my workbench, did I stop feeling helplessly stupid. My mad laboratory had various smell chemicals to experiment with lighter fluid, grease remover, heptane solvent etc, but I didn’t WANT to experiment. I wanted to just do it right the first time – so I went with the Clean Cover Gel.
My normal ‘clean dry cloth’ of choice are the bags of white jersey painter rags from the hardware department. When I stocked up on cotton balls, I had picked up some of the all cotton cosmetic rounds. The cotton rounds gave me the absorbency of the cotton ball, without leaving all those tiny fibers behind. They worked even better than I had imagined and J.P. Sartre was fat free in a matter of minutes. I celebrated with a half order of ribs from Texas Road House.