Repairing books is a long-lived and sometimes complicated art. For local and school libraries, the focus is less on fixing ancient manuscripts and more on making sure everyone has access to a book, no matter what it’s been through. However, with the art of repair comes repair mistakes. Here are some of the book repair mistakes you don’t want to make in your library.
Avoid Using Acidic Glues
If glue touches any part of your book, it must be acid-free. Acidic adhesives have the potential to gradually eat away at paper and thin fabrics. When glue is necessary, look for one that does the following.
- It dries clear.
- It is pH neutral or acid-free.
- It dries flexible.
- It doesn’t have too potent a smell.
Always Test an Adhesive First
Remember to always test any kind of adhesive before using a large quantity of it. With enough usage, books will require fresh adhesives after even the best of repairs. The worst-case scenario is that you discover the bond you use now has taken words, art, or pages off with it when you revisit it in a few years for replacement.
Take a small amount of the adhesive you’re using, whether that’s glue, tape, or otherwise, and test it on a back page or on a spare book. Then attempt to remove or re-cover said adhesive and see if you are happy with the results.
Never Cover Important Features
The purpose of repairing books is to ensure that readers can enjoy them for years to come. Some repair methods keep the text but take away from other essential aspects of the reading experience. When able, prioritize the preservation of cover artwork and unique features as much as possible. Not all spines are salvageable, but clear adhesive options preserve them without hiding which book is on the shelf.
At Chromalabel, we offer various styles and quantities of BookGuard™ book binding tape to suit the needs of your library, no matter the size. From clear stretchable adhesive that shows off important details to premium cloth corners that give your books a clean cut again, your books can look and feel their best when you use repair tapes. Browse these must-haves for any collection and avoid the book repair mistakes you don’t want to make in your library from here on out.