Book Repair

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Many of us own damaged books. In some cases, these are books that may be part of our family history and which we would like to see in better shape than they are in currently. We may also be considering book repair if we have found a great book at a yard sale and want to restore it. Some antique book stores offer book repair services, but, depending on the value of the book, you may actually be able to do some significant repairs yourself.

As with many other areas of expertise, you can now find information about book repairing at several different websites. The issue is whether you want to repair the book yourself or if you want the book to be repaired professionally. Below are some of the repairs you can do yourself.

Book Repairs at Home

There are many repairs you can do at your own home. First there is the process of recasing a book block. If the entire block of pages has come loose from the spine of the book cover, putting it back together is called recasing or casing-in. This is done by replacing end sheets and spine cloth. End sheets are the papers that adhere to the inside of the hard cover of the book. The next type of repair one can do is spine replacement. The spine of a book is the part of the cover to which the pages are glued. Often a book spine comes loose from the book and needs to be reattached. This is a fairly complicated process, but it can be done at home with some patience and good directions.

Protective boxes help keep your books in good condition. If you have a damaged book that you can't repair quickly, you may want to consider creating an enclosure to protect the book from further damage. This is done using a specific type of heavy paper and fitting the box to the exact dimensions of the book. A quick hang is an abbreviated version of a spine replacement and is a good way to restore paperback books. There are fewer steps in this process, but the result is a usable book.


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