The Decline and Fall of a Good Read

The Puzzler

RAY: This was sent by Ted Getchman and the answer may be controversial. I'm going to say that in advance, and I'm prepared to take the heat. Well, Ted and I are.

He writes, "Recently I had a hankering to read Edward Gibbons' three-volume set, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, no small undertaking considering there are exactly 2,500 pages of text and illustrations in each volume.

"Sadly, as I reached for them on the shelf I could see that mold had damaged every page and cover from the front of volume 1, though that cover was undamaged, to the back cover of volume 3, though it too was undamaged."

TOM: And everything in between was mold.

RAY: "I called the local book repairer and he said that it would cost a penny a page and fifty cents a cover to repair. He says, 'Bring the affected volumes over and come back in a week, I'll be all done.'

'So I show up in a week prepared to pay the bill, and it's about half of what I expected it to be."

The statement that it was half is a hint. The question is how much was the repair?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

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