You’ve just dropped your favorite, out-of-print book into a bathtub, ruining it completely … What do you do now?
Ack, terrifying question!!! First, I probably wouldn’t put a book like that in danger – I’ve worked very hard to obtain some of my books, particularly butch-femme and other queer works, and I know just how difficult they can be to find. My wish list includes many such titles, and I can’t even explain the excitement it creates when one turns up somewhere! This has actually prompted me to pipe dream of owning a small press that specializes in obtaining the rights to such books and running small batches every decade or so, to increase their circulation and accessibility.
Now, pretending that I actually would have done such a horrific thing, I’d likely first run to the computer and search for repair/preservation options and try everything I could find. Should the book truly end up an unreadable pulp (I’m crying a little bit, here), I would begin the hunt for a replacement on every site I know – swap sites like BookMooch, used/rare sites like Alibris, and monster aggregate sites like Amazon – and put in a word with all of my local independents that buy used books.
How about you; what’s your go-to for finding or replacing a rare title?