I just advised someone to take a razor to a book she is trying to ‘repair’. Yes i still get those phone calls from people trying to ‘revirginize’ their exlibrary books and such. This was another one of those ‘the local pinheads used sharpie marker to price their books’ phone calls. Well be they ‘friends’ of the library or just ignorant paperback swap owners, there are still morons out there pricing books with sharpie marker so that no one can change the price of their $2.00 book. Alas as i have said on many occasion ‘Sometimes permanent means exactly THAT.’ you can’t wash it or bleach it out, or scape it off…Sharpie uses a dye based ink and it does what it says on the tin. Trust me i have tried, anything powerful enough to remove the dye is going to remove the paper fibers as well, maybe not today or tomorrow but it’s going to continue to eat away at it.
So, my recommendation…mind you this is a book worth less than $20 and the owner and i have already spent more time talking about repairing the book than the owner will recoup by fixing it…was to razor out the offending front free endpaper and replace it with another one exactly like it. (this is why god makes dollar books) In this particular case the book has an extra blank fly before the half title, so the front free end paper won’t be missed. Over the years I have had to deal with a lot of malicious damage done to books by the people who had been entrusted with their care. I really get pissed with the books get deaccessioned by tearing out the back page which carries the bar code, even if it means breaking the spine and rippingoff half the text block..but that’s another story.
Anyway, the solution to removal of sharpy marker is sharpy scissors or a razor blade, then tip in a replacement page. Sometime permanent is permanent.