Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Mildewy Books, Rams’ Heads & Clothesline Gadgetry

by Katy on September 3, 2013 · 18 comments

It’s time for a very random non-consumer-y photo essay.

The first two photos are screen shot from eBay listings that I have scheduled to start next Sunday evening.

Atomic Ranch magazines that I picked up for a quarter apiece at The Title Wave used library store:

And a small $7.99 antique marble bust that I brought home from Goodwill:

Marble bust

Gotta put as much money in my sons’ college accounts as possible. I would hate from them to graduate with a burdensome amount of student loan debt.

This photo is a Goodwill 1970’s book about Portland resources:

 The First Portland Catalog

It features a photo of my step-brother Mike. He’s the toddler on the left side. I love that I can go to Goodwill and find a photo of a family member. Sadly, the book smelled like it had been stored in a damp and mildewy basement. So I took my photos and left it behind.


The next photo is of a fantastic antique wooden lamp, complete with carved rams’ heads, vines and leaves.

The detail is incredible! I could totally see it in the lobby of a high-end hotel or lodge. Sadly, it was priced at $30, and had a number of chipped areas. I left it at Goodwill for some other avid thrifter to bring home.

The last photo is a hanging rack that I recently received from my sister as a hostess gift. It’s perfect for drying socks and underwear, and although I have it on my summer clothesline, it will come in super handy during the wet winter months.

I would never buy it for myself, (too gadgety, plus it was bought new.) But I was more than happy to receive it as a gift.

My sister, she knows me well.

Hanging rack

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

rosarugosa September 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I think I would have had to buy the book, smelly or not 🙂


Vivian September 4, 2013 at 11:44 am

I wonder if you had put that book in a plastic bag with something that would dry the book out and deodorize it and it would be just like new? I know that a big city Library in B.C. had a flood and rescued all the books they could and put them in freezer storage to dry them out and rescue them from the dump.


Carolyn September 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I have a very similar drying rack left with me when Japanese friends moved back home. It lives in my laundry room and I use it daily.


Roberta September 3, 2013 at 6:17 pm

You can do a lot to reduce or eliminate the nasty mildew smell. First, sheck to see if there is any visible mildew. Wipe it up with Lysol, and let it dry. Then freeze it (double bagged) for three days, to kill any bugs (bookworms or silverfish) that might be in residence. Air well in a sunny spot (I know, I know) or warm dry area. Finally, if there is still smell, put it in a box with crumbled newspaper. Repeat the last step until the smell is all gone.

I used to work in a major university library, making repairs (and doing other things). I now have more information than any reasonable person would need about these things. And so do you!

The question of course remains … is it worth it!


PoppyEcho September 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I am allergic and have asthmatic response to mildew, and lost a lot of books this way from childhood that were in the basement- and fear them at the thrift store. But I love old books! I would have thought you have to spray every page with Lysol to kill the smell, mildew is pervasive. no? Not that I can really tolerate any spray cleaner. But maybe outside, wearing a bandana. What do you think?
It really gets the smell out?


Roberta September 4, 2013 at 6:15 am

In my experience, it really kills the mildew. Spray a cloth, wipe down the inside cover, outside cover, spine and the edges of the pages that face you when the book is closed. If there is obvious mildew visible, that should be wiped down as well. Lysol kills the mildew, and leaves a nasty Lysol smell, but the airing should remove both smells, unless it’s inside the spine and not accessible. I’d say MOST of the time it will fix the problem. Don’t spray the book directly, though, as the moisture itself could be damaging.

Depending on how bad your asthma is,it might not be worth the risk to try — but then again it might. And outside is Definitely the place to do this.


PoppyEcho September 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm



Jessica Wolk-Stanley September 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

I bought the drying rack new, but I figured it would help me use the dryer less (it did!) and also it is an item I NEVER see at Goodwill here in NYC. I suppose I could have fashioned one from scratch with baling wire and old hangers and clothes pins, but I just didn’t. Do any readers have ideas for how to make one of these? Because I just gave mine away!


Jenny September 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Our drying rack for small things is a bright green octopus shaped one IKEA sold a few years ago. So ugly it’s entertaining. And it does get a pretty good workout holding plastic bags when it’s not holding mittens & hats in the winter.


Maggie September 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

We have two of those for hanging cloth diapers! I like that they’re circular, so the diapers are spaced evenly. And I totally agree that they’re so ugly they’re almost cute. Almost…


Katie September 4, 2013 at 3:47 am

I love the drying rack!


JaneUlness September 4, 2013 at 7:32 am

I love the rack. My husband made me a rack out I’d plumbing parts that hangs over the washer and dryer.


AFS September 4, 2013 at 8:03 am

Let us know how you do on the Ebay sales


Vivian September 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

I wonder if you had put that book in a plastic bag with something that would dry the book out and deodorize it and it would be just like new? I know that a big city Library in B.C. had a flood and rescued all the books they could and put them in freezer storage to dry them out and rescue them from the dump.


cindi September 4, 2013 at 10:49 am

You didn’t buy the book with your step-brothers pic in it??
Dayum, girl…you are cheap..
(said with admiration, tho, as I went to Goodwill today and bought 6 books, none of which had any relatives pictures in them and really weren’t needed)


Katy September 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Not cheap, adverse to overwhelming mildew stank!



Trish September 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

That is such a great drying rack! I have to admit to being too lazy to hang socks on the line affixed with clothespins – I just drape them over the side of the laundry basket when I am done hanging everything else. There’s just too many of them!! a useful hostess gift is so great! My sister gave me a thing fromLe Crueset that you put butter in so you can keep it on the countertop and it won’t melt. I bet it costs about 10 or 15 dollars. sigh.


Laurie September 5, 2013 at 8:17 am

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