Librarians, Beware: Book Repair Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs

repair your book spine

Whether you're a librarian, a teacher, or just a lover of books, you've probably known the frustration and heartbreak of discovering your book has been damaged. If the injured title is one of your favorites, you've probably already begun the search for quick repair methods.

Before researching how to repair a book spine with DIY videos on Youtube, proceed with caution. If you make a mistake in the when attempting to repair your book spine or cover, you might inadvertently make the issue worse.

To avoid further damaging or even ruining your book, use this guide. Here are three book repair mistakes to avoid at all costs:

Mistake #1. Not Measuring

Many book repair tricks involve wide rolls of book repair tape or clear glossy label protectors to heal cracked spines, page tip-ins, and more. Often, repair supplies come in larger sizes that can be cut down to fit smaller books. Before cutting the tape or attaching it, make sure you measure the book! Once the tape has adhered, removing it might damage the book even more. Without measuring, you could be stuck with too large or too small patch of tape, and a botched repair job.

Mistake #2: Using Any Old Glue or Tape

In search of a quick fix, many bibliophiles turn to regular glue or tape to mend book damage. However, these materials aren't designed to repair your book spine, and could actually make the scenario worse. For example, regular glue might not have a small enough nozzle for distributing tiny amounts of glue, leading to a messy and disastrous repair attempt. Stick to bookbinding glue and book binding repair tape for that sturdy-yet-flexible seal that's ideal for reading materials.

Mistake #3: Removing Pressure Too Soon

After a book spine or pages have been glued/taped back together, the seal needs time to set. Use rubber bands or other heavier books to apply pressure for 24 to 48 hours. Attempting to open or shelve a book too soon can render repair tape and glue useless. Be patient for a book repair job that lasts.

America's factories made $5.3 trillion worth of goods in 2016, including a healthy quantity of book repair supplies. If you're aiming to fix a beloved novel, don't skip these vital steps or buy inadequate materials. With proper book repair, you'll be lost in your newly-mended book in no time.

Update from April 2021

Saving old books will preserve your treasures and save you money. It's important to do the preservation the right way from the beginning so it lasts you a long time! Depending on the type of books you are preserving there are different materials to use. Cloth repair tape will work great on hymnals and stretchable book binding tape will work great on hard cover books. 

Book repair

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