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Re: books elevate the mind?
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: books elevate the mind?
- From: Barbara Coddington <bdc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 10:36:30 +0930
- Message-id: <199807050111.SAA19876@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: On the web at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I get a little nervous when I read stuff like this. I can just see people going looking for books to sniff (
a la the "cane toad" phenomenon, when people decided licking toads would give them hallucenogenic
experiences!). And the reporting here doesn't take into account that some old books are affected by things
other than/in addition to fungus, which can make you really quite sick. Black mold, for instance. (Some
conservators even refuse to treat books with mold.) But then again, this article is quite interesting --
maybe explains why so many people love the smell of old bookstores! :-)
> Experts on the various fungi that feed on the pages and on the covers
> of books are increasingly convinced that you can get high - or at least
> little wacky -- by sniffing old books. Fungus on books, they say, is a
> likely source of hallucinogenic spores.
> The story of The Strangeness in the Stacks first started making its way
> through the usually staid antiquarian books community late last year
> with the publication of a paper in the British medical journal, The
> There, Dr. R.J. Hay wrote of the possibility that "fungal
> in old books could lead to "enhancement of enlightenment."