antique books

I get a few calls a week asking for advice about which of our products are best to establish a book repair kit at home, church, or in the classroom.  

We have a variety of book repair products, and it can be confusing about which ones will best fit your application; for example, what material or width do you use to repair your book's binding? With 3 basic products, 5 different materials and 8 tape widths, it can be initially intimidating on what to choose (who likes doing returns anyway?).

Book Wings & Corners

First, let's talk book wings and corners; these are specially packaged portions of tape that are die-cut for a specific task.  For a quick primer on Book Wings, read this previous blog post.  

We offer these in the premium cloth tape material, vinyl, polyester, and polyethylene.  We offer starter kits of both wings and corners.  I would suggest one of each starter kit for an initial home library setup.

Book Binding Tapes


Vinyl & Poly Tape
Then a selection of tapes ... most of the time, it's the spine that needs to be repaired, or the cover that needs to be taped back onto the spine.  For these more severe repair jobs, I suggest Premium Cloth Tape. To find out what width you need, measure the width of the spine that needs to be repaired.  Then add 1/4" - 1/2" on each side.  This will allow the book binding tape to wrap around the spine securely.  


2" wide cloth tape is our best-selling repair tape out of all the varieties and widths.   This width will work for most paperbacks and thinner hardbacks.  For Bibles, you'll definitely want to go 3" wide though.

If you want to repair without adding a lot of thickness, or need to repair thin paperbacks, I recommend either our Crystal Clear Book Tape or Vinyl Book Tape.  

The differences between the two range in thickness / cost / clarity.  Polyethylene (Crystal Clear) is stretchy, very clear, thin, conformable, and less expensive.  Vinyl is thicker, tougher, more durable, frosty finished, and more expensive.  It's really a preference thing.  I personally like the Poly tape, because it's so stretchy, and I can see right through it—but that's me.  Others love how the Vinyl comes on a pre-measured liner that makes application a bit easier for first time users.

Closing Thoughts

To put together a starter book repair kit for home use, I would suggest a roll of at least one of the clear tapes, a roll of the 2" or thicker cloth tape, and a starter pack each of wings & corners.  

You could get away with not getting the wings and corners, since you can basically make your own wings and corners out of the cloth and clear tapes.  But if you have 5 or more books with scuffed edges and corners, these kits will sure makes your life easier.  And you'll probably cuss a little less this weekend.  :)

Cal me at the office M-F 8a-5p if I can pass along any further advice!  800-256-0435


Update from April 2021

Book repair can be a daunting process at first. Luckily, these products are made specifically for the book repair process and are really easy to use. We're happy to help you out if you have further questions!

Book repair

1 comment

Rev. Robert Linnstaedt

Is there a video of the process? While we could probably figure out the basics, we want it to look professional. How to cut it so top and bottom of spine wrap without binding. And how to get it compressed in the groove between spine and coverboards.
Thank you kindly.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published