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How to Repair Books

 
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I buy cheap books.  Many of them need repairing.  I didn't use a YouTube to do it,  I use white school glue or wood glue, saran wrap, packing tape and something heavy to put on top of the book while it is drying.

Here is a YouTube to help explain how to fix a paperback.



 
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Nice. I grew up with a "half price books" in my town. Anything related to solar, greenhouses, alternate energies were scooped up by me. Its been years since ive seen a store...until i took my wife to an appt in Austin recently. Boy was i giddy.

It seems like the world is turning to digital books. Things i consider references (non fiction), i really prefer the real thing. You can loan them out, give them away, borrow one.
 
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Thanks a lot for this video! My little son plyed with several books and they don't look good anymore. So, I'll try your method.
 
Anne Miller
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As I said earlier, I have repaired a lot of books.  I have 200 books written by Louis Lamour. Many that I bought which needed repairing and many that became worn while I was reading them.

I hope these picture will help show how to repair a book.









You can repair books with gaffer's tape, packing tape, white glue and denim, whatever but if you want your repair to look like a "book" you'll need book binding cloth and PVA glue.

You can order those online or find them at most any scrap-booking store.

The PVA glue is designed to bond paper like no other glue I have ever encountered and book binders cloth is designed to take a lot of abuse from handling and bending as well as having a paper backing that lends itself to working with PVA.






I chose to glue the spine to the book binders cloth first. This could have been done differently. The only critical thing to remember is to not glue the spine to the book itself. It needs to move as part of the cover and hinge rather than be affixed to the pages.

You'll also want to make a couple small cuts so you have tabs the width of the spine to fold over and glue to the spine itself. This allows for a clean fold and nicer edge on the cover as well as the spine. Easier to see in the images if you just follow those.




After attaching the spine simply line up the cloth and glue first one side and then the other to the cover. You might want to use a bone burnisher to smooth things out but it isn't really necessary on such a simple repair.

I wrapped my cloth fairly snug to help hold the book together. PVA dries very quickly so be as precise as possible when gluing it down. You likely won't get a second chance.







https://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Book-Repair/
 
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That looks like a pretty good repair job.

I am a bookbinder by trade, and have had to do this not only on books of my own that I've trashed, but also on everything from worn-out kids' books to family heirloom bibles.

It is by far easiest to reattach a cover, especially if the outermost pages, usually a pair of folded double-size pages on the outside of the book block (called endpapers, for obvious reasons) are intact. On sewn books, these can be either sewn into the spine or tabbed on with PVA. If there are blank pages attached to the book block, reinforcing these, attaching new endpapers, and gluing the original cover onto them is the best way to repair that sort of damage.

Also common is when the spine of a book disintegrates. This is most easily fixed with book binders' cloth, or bindery tape, which is simply book binders' cloth with a bonded adhesive. It is possible to stencil atop most bindery tape, even to the point of being able to foil stamp or hand-foil, should that be your thing.

If the cover itself is falling apart more than just at the spine, it is often necessary to photocopy what remains and create a new case for the book entirely. You can, incidentally, create a case and glue any book block into it (a process known as casing-in), as long as you add endpapers to secure the new case to the outside of the book block without attaching it to the spine, which, as mentioned in an earlier post, needs to move freely to allow the book to open properly, without damage.

A case is simply two  pieces of harder material cut to just larger than the book block (usually 1/8th of an inch around, so a quarter inch extra up, down, and on the face, but the measurement is finicky), then wrapped with either book binders' cloth or a printed paper wrap. The boards can be made of a few different materials, but padding or chip board is most often used. If a hard strip is used on the spine, then it is usually cut to the width of the book block plus the thickness of the boards, or in other words, the thickness of the closed book. This is centered on the case material, and the front and back boards are placed accordingly, with spacing of approximately one-and-a-half times the thickness of the board material left between the spine and the front and back boards to allow for hinge movement.

The case wrap is usually cut so that there is at least 3/4s of an inch of wrap on each edge. PVA can be used, but a flour-based paste can be used instead, though the drying time would need to be increased. The adhesive is applied to the inside of the casewrap, the boards are placed, and the edges wrapped around the properly positioned board material.

The corners of the casewrap are usually cut so that there is less material build-up on the corners of the wrapped cases.

The hardest thing, by far, is to reglue or resew bookblocks that have come apart. In the case of paperback-style glued books and bookblocks, there's very little recourse but to gather all the pages, jog the paper down to the spine, and clamp it. I would use a fine rasp or file, something that will rough up the edges of the paper without doing damage; on a digitally printed one-off, I would use a sanding block. This gives the glue more surface area with which to bind.

Sewn books, incidentally, can be lots of work, or they can be damaged to the point of being unbindable without reprinting large sections or grinding off the folded and sewn remnants and making it into a glued book block. These usually have pages gathered in sections, eight or sixteen per is common, double-sized, folded, and gathered into sets, which are then stitched together into book blocks. You can imagine how involved a process it is to replace a single page that falls out of such a book (as you would need to disassemble the spine and replace not only the page that fell out, but the one that it was attached to, and probably the pages next to it in the folded set).

As to glue, basically any glue that remains relatively elastic when dry will work for the gluing of spines, but those suited specifically for paper will obviously do best.

I hope some of this will prove useful to the home-scale book binder and repairer. Good luck, and please post more shots of book repair!

-CK
 
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