Shoot That Book: Foxing

Shoot That Book combines my passion for books and my tendency to become trigger happy with a camera. My lack of photography skills is compensated by my enthusiasm. Basically, I like taking pictures of books.

Last week the blog was pretty quiet because I flew home to Manila, this week I haven’t been able to blog because work has been so busy (overtime and late night calls). I want to post a review but I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and write one. I still don’t have the energy to write a review but I thought it would be nice to put up a Shoot That Book post since I haven’t posted one in the past few weeks.

I’ve talked about how I find it frustrating that I don’t have all of my books with me, where I’m currently based. What makes things worse is coming home to find that more of my books have started turning yellow with age and have spots called foxing. Don’t know what foxing is? Here’s a description from Wikipedia:

Foxing is a term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books, postage stamps, certificates, and so forth. The name may derive from the fox-like reddish-brown color of the stains, or the rust chemical ferric oxide which may be involved. Paper so affected is said to be “foxed.”

I grabbed my copies of Elizabeth Wein’s Lion Hunters series from my bookshelf in Manila and here are some pictures (with no Instagram filters) to show what foxing looks like:


Foxing Telemakos

Foxing The Sunbird

This is another topic that I’ve also discussed in the blog before (here and here) but I haven’t been able to find a solution. I’ve tried covering books in plastic, storing them in bookshelves with glass covers, placing closet dehumidifiers in the shelves, etc. It just makes me sad to see books in this state because I feel like they would only last a couple of years before breaking apart completely. I need to keep reminding myself to be more mindful in buying physical books, I should probably buy more ebooks because they’re easier to keep. I’ve bought and ordered used books from the States and even though they’re older than some of my books in Manila, they’re in much better condition. So I’m assuming that the heat and humidity causes books to have this very vintage look. My books here in Singapore haven’t started foxing because I’ve only been here for a little over a year and I turn on the aircon every night. I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts happening eventually.

Do you worry about your books aging like this? Do you get foxing in your books or is it a problem on in hot and humid areas?