Thursday 19 November 2009

Fire-proof reading

I have a recurrent dream. Well nightmare. I am sure we all have here. Your most treasured books have been irreplaceably lost in a fire. I've never seen another copy of Munro's A Sketch of the Common Good of the City of Aberdeen for sale. The solution is obvious! Print on, and bind in, asbestos. For a snip under £20,000, the Fine Books Company of Rochester are offering a complete set (of two, I hasten to add) science fiction titles printed thus. More details here. This wasn't an archival move, but more of a gimmick. My question is would you need special storage and a mask to prevent the risk of asbestosis, but presumably they'd say if it were a problem. But imagine: it could be the special collections reading room to end all reading rooms! I wonder about the idea if I ever complete my thesis. Of course, if you are not easily inflamed whilst reading, you needn't go to this expense.