What is the difference between "acid odor" and just the smell of old books/newsprint? Or are they one and the same?
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I first graded my comic collection using the 20th edition of the Overstreet Guide in 1990. I just picked up the 50th edition - how time flies! - and, obviously, the grading has become much more detailed and refined. I also got a copy of the Overstreet Guide to Grading Comics at the same time.

For "Acid Odour", every grade from 10 to 5.5 specifies "none" for Acid Odor. Grade 5.0 specifies "Has the faintest odor".

My question - and I don't see anything in the guide or on this forum that answers this question - is what is the difference between "Acid Odor" and just the smell that all old books or newspapers tend to have? Or is this smell of old books and newspapers considered to be "Acid Odor"? I would expect an "Acid Odor" to be similar to vinegar. My books smell like, well, comic books. hm

Edited by My60sComics
Brain fart.
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"Old comic book smell" isn't acid odor. Acid odor is acid odor. Old comics can smell musty or acidic or even like fresh water or like nothing at all. Acid odor is is the result of acetic acid (the active acid in vinegar) continuing to break down the fibers that help keep a comic book page whole. Over time the continuing deterioration will lead to brittle pages that literally fall apart at a touch. 

The first think I do when buying a comic in person is to give it a couple of sniffs. Even if it is a nice book, if I get the acetic acid I will pass up buying the book. 

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If I may, I’m going to hijack this thread. (worship)

I recently came into possession of some comics from a fellow boardie.  They are mostly Copper, with a few Silver.  A few of the coppers had an acidic/pungent odor, which I noticed right away.  My wife is always telling me that I’ve got a nose like a bloodhound…the odor hit me right away.  Only a couple of the books smelled like that, the rest seemed to be okay.

I haven’t come across this issue…ever.  Plus, I’d rather not return the books IF there's a way to possibly ‘air them out’.  Any of my fellow boardies have any suggestions?  They will be rebagged and reboarded…I threw away the stuff they came in.  Thanks all!!

Edited by Galen130
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I've had success simply leaving the books open for a week or two. One book I left open in a small box with some charcoal in the box. It supposedly absorbs some of the odor but I didn't notice a difference. I think there is a spray you can buy but I don't know its name. I generally avoid these sorts of books. 

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On 10/15/2021 at 12:28 PM, shadroch said:

I've had success simply leaving the books open for a week or two. One book I left open in a small box with some charcoal in the box. It supposedly absorbs some of the odor but I didn't notice a difference. I think there is a spray you can buy but I don't know its name. I generally avoid these sorts of books. 

I just walked into my office where I usually keep the door closed so that cat doesn't get in.  I noticed that smell instantly because all of them are unbagged and stacked together.  I haven't rebagged them in Mylar with new boards yet until I figure out if I can remedy this problem.  I don't want to give up on them, but it is on my mind to return them.  I think maybe I'll try a box of baking soda in a rubbermaid container for a few days...see how that works.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. But at least it doesn't stink like catpiss in there! 

groucho-marx.jpg

 

they usually leave that last part of the quote off!

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CGC should note fragrance on their labels as they do page whiteness.

"Echos of Morning Dew"

"Notes of Vanilla and Elderberry"

"Basic Newsprint Aromas"

"Hints of old Moldy Sock"

"Light Sewage Stench"

perhaps even a quote "Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, This book Stinks and so do You"

:roflmao:

 

Edited by MAR1979
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I did put all of those SA/CA smelly comics in a rubbermaid container with a box of baking soda.  The container wasn’t airtight so the odor leaked out.  I could tell because the office smelled everyday when I opened the door.  This past weekend I bought an airtight box for the books, with 2 boxes of baking soda.  The last couple days, after opening the office door, no odor.  Let’s hope it works this time. (shrug)

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I got a box of comics yesterday in a regular priority mailing box. But it was the weirdest thing - the whole box smelled of mint. It was like someone poured Listerine all over it - you could literally smell it across the room. All the books inside were bagged/boarded and then packed together in another outer bag, and once I got them out of the box they had no odor at all, but the box itself was crazy minty.

I even joked to my wife (who asked what was in the box - seriously? Do you even know me at all dear?) that it was full of minty-fresh comics. It wasn't necessarily unpleasant, but I found it unsettling for some weird reason. (shrug)

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On 10/26/2021 at 8:13 AM, Galen130 said:

I did put all of those SA/CA smelly comics in a rubbermaid container with a box of baking soda.  The container wasn’t airtight so the odor leaked out.  I could tell because the office smelled everyday when I opened the door.  This past weekend I bought an airtight box for the books, with 2 boxes of baking soda.  The last couple days, after opening the office door, no odor.  Let’s hope it works this time. (shrug)

Well, after about three weeks total (10 days in the sealed Sterilite containter), I have pulled out all these 'smelly' comics.  Everything is great!!  Now I just smell that old 'newspaper' smell, with a few that have a bit of that more pungent odor.  When I got the new container, I added a second box of baking soda to speed up the process.  It worked great.  I even put a couple Modern boards in there as well...they helped absorb that acidic odor.  Now I can bag/board/insert into my collection.  Crisis averted!!! :banana:

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On 10/30/2021 at 10:23 AM, Jesse-Lee said:

I got a box of comics yesterday in a regular priority mailing box. But it was the weirdest thing - the whole box smelled of mint. It was like someone poured Listerine all over it - you could literally smell it across the room. All the books inside were bagged/boarded and then packed together in another outer bag, and once I got them out of the box they had no odor at all, but the box itself was crazy minty.

I even joked to my wife (who asked what was in the box - seriously? Do you even know me at all dear?) that it was full of minty-fresh comics. It wasn't necessarily unpleasant, but I found it unsettling for some weird reason. (shrug)

 

Were they advertised as Mint comics?

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