Book Repair for Beginners

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How to I repair a damaged book?

Book Repair for Beginners

For most people, the extent of their knowledge about book repair stops at a roll of scotch tape. Though this can be a good temporary fix, you should know a few basics to help you repair every day damage to get the most out of your books. The first type of every day damage that most books encounter is folded or torn pages. This is a problem that most people fix with a simple strip of tape or straightening out. With a completely removed corner, it is almost always better to leave it alone than it is to try and reattach the corner. Unless it is essential to the book, a corner does not make enough difference to potentially damage your book. Tape can be very acidic and can serve as another point of stress where you book may tear if it is used as the primary repair method.

Another issue that many people face is a torn or broken spine. Unless you have professional grade binding glue you will never really get the brand new spine back. The first step to repair the spine of a book is to get webbing or cheese cloth and cut it to fit the spine of the book. With the cheese cloth in place, use something like rubber cement or another viscous glue that will not run or seep into the pages. The cheese cloth will act as both a reinforcement and a barrier between the book and the glue that you are applying, and will help make your repair more permanent. You then need to allow the book to sit undisturbed for about 24 hours. If you have a spine cover or some sort of art that you want to place on the spine, you can apply it after the repair has completely dried.

The last sort of damage that many books face is a removed or torn out page. This is a bit harder to fix as most people want to tape the page back in. In this case, it is essential that you either glue the page back in much as you would a spine repair with a glue like rubber cement in a very thin layer. Now gluing pages back in almost always ends up in other pages being glued together which is not ideal but in some cases it is the only option. If you want to use tape you should be sure that the strips are small, narrow, and that you have removed some of the glue from the back of the strip to prevent damage to neighboring pages.



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