fixing library books

Where to Start

If fixing up the library’s books is your task, chances are you probably have a lot of books to repair. Don’t panic! Book repair is actually really easy, especially when you have the right products. 

There’s a few key places where books tend to break down; the cover, the edges, and the spine. If you’re repairing multiple books, you’ll end up working with all 3 of these problem spots.  


Picking the Right Book Repair Tape

If you have a pile of books staring up at you that need to be doctored up, you’re going to want to do it right the first time. Nothing is worse than completing a project and then realizing it wasn’t done the right way...and now it needs to be redone. 

This means finding a reliable tape that is going to keep the books together for a long time. This way, you don’t have to go through the process again anytime soon. 


Tape that Sticks 

Yes, you’re right...all tape sticks. But I mean, you need tape that reeeally sticks. You don’t want to repair that pile of books only to have them start slowly falling apart all over again. 

Book repair tape that has a really strong adhesive is so important. 


cloth book binding repair tape

The Right Kind of Tape 

Depending on the kind of books you’re repairing, you may need different kinds of tape. 

Here’s a quick guide to help you out:

Cloth Book Repair Tape is good for books with, (you guessed it) cloth covers. Usually older books and hymnals have cloth covers. This tape comes in different colors and different widths.



clear stretchy book repair tape


Clear Stretchable Book Binding Tape is great for plastic or vinyl hardcover books and also paperback books. It’s clear and stretches around corners really easily. 




Vinyl Book Repair Tape with Liner also works great for plastic or vinyl hardcovers and paperbacks. It’s also clear, but it's not stretchy. It’s vinyl so it has a thicker feel to it than the stretchy tape. It comes with a really handy liner so you can measure the exact size you need before cutting.  It’s available in different widths.

bookguard vinyl clear book repair tape with liner

You can order a roll of each and give them a try, or take your best shot and order the one you think will work for you. The good news is that all 3 of these tapes have some things in common:

  • Aggressive adhesive. Once you stick the tape on, it’s not going anywhere, and your book is protected. 
  • Thickness. The thickness of these tapes protects your book from further damage. 
  • A professional look. The tape is sturdy and won’t crack or peel, which will keep the books looking nice.


book repair wings

Book Repair Wings

There’s another product that you may want to consider. Book repair wings are made especially for the tops and bottoms of book spines, the part that can be difficult to wrap tape around. The great thing about these wings are:

  • You don’t need to cut or measure.
  • One size fits most books. 
  • They protect books longer, as they add extra protection to the most vulnerable spots of the book. 
  • Made of the same material as the cloth repair tape. They will stick to any kind of book. 
  • Different color options available.

If you have a precise eye and a steady hand, then cutting the tape and placing it on the right spot on the book may be no issue for you! But, if you want a little extra help, then these little wings will make your job easier. 


book repair corner

Book Repair Corners

Almost exactly the same as book repair wings, the book repair corners are built to protect the edges of the book where it is also hard to wrap tape around. They're simply a different shape than the book wings, allowing them to fit nicely around the corners of the book. 



Now that you know what you need to get started, here are some other articles to check out:

Tips and Tools for Repairing Book Spines 

Librarians Share Their Book Repair Tips

Book repairLibrary and school

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