Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bleg: Book repair, part 2

Charlotte sensibly points out that considering the price of used copies of my torn children's Bible, perhaps I just might want to replace it. And thinking about it, she's probably right. (I only hesitate because I hate to throw away a book.)

But here's another case.

Here's our other children's bible. It's older, and Catholic, and the New Testament is illustrated by the celebrated Provensons. It's also rarer: the one copy on Amazon with the word "Provensen" in the listing goes for $40. (Here's three copies of the same book without "Provensen" in the listing for about $6 each: The Holy Bible The Old Testament and New Adapted for Young Catholic Readers -- but I'd be disappointed if you guys didn't snap them up right away.)

Also, this book was a gift (either from the Catholic Bibliophagist or the Opinionated Homeschooler, I can't remember. Sorry, ladies.). So I don't want to replace it, or mutilate it. I want to preserve it. This should be just a matter of anchoring the torn spine, but I want to make sure I do it right. Linen tape? Clear plastic library binding tape? How best to strengthen the book without completely destroying it?

Mrs. Cranky, I'm counting on you to come through for me here with the professional advice... :)


Charlotte (Waltzing Matilda) said...

Sorry, here is the correct link.

I didn't mean to say that you should just replace it, just that if you tried to repair it and it didn't work out, you could. Can't wait to see what you decide to do!

bearing said...

omg! I didn't know they illustrated a kids' Bible! I love their work! lucky you!

tw: "ptededoo" I like that one.

mrsdarwin said...


Follow the link to the Amazon listing and buy, my friend, buy!

MomE. said...

Have you considered taking it to a book repair shop? Marianne L. had her Bible repaired at the one in Cincinnati and it looks great. A little more expensive than doing it yourself but it would probably last a whole lot longer and would probably look more beautiful than "do it yourself"

Donald R. McClarey said...

I have a degree in library science, and often have had to repair books in our family's library. I often use good-quality clear package sealing tape for book repairs (mainly because, as an eBay seller, I have a lot of it around the house). Duct tape is certainly strong, but if you can get some at the hardware store that's close in color to the main color of the book's cover, it will make a more attractive repair. (Electrical tape also can often be color-matched to book covers, but is narrower than duct tape and non-reinforced, so not as strong.) For small rips on pages (or spines of skinny paperbacks), Scotch Magic Transparent tape (the green-label stuff) is acid-free, and thus won't deteriorate or turn the paper a funny color as it ages (the way cheap cellophane tape does). Scotch tape can also be used to reattach loose interior pages, where clear packaging tape would be too bulky to work.
For anything that those kinds of tape can't mend: 1)if it's in print, buy a cheap replacement copy on eBay or at a library book sale; or 2) if it's out-of-print or has senimental/heirloom value, consult the nearest librarian -- if they don't know how or where it can be repaired, they can check with a university library's rare books department. Hope this helps!

Donald R. McClarey said...

That of course was my wife Cathy who posted above. When she repairs a book, it stays repaired!

Jordana said...

I repair most books with clear packing tape too. It must the preferred way for those with Library Science degrees! However, since it is a special book, I agree that you might want to check into a book binder. Ask at the library for recommendations.

Brandon said...

There are actually lots of book repair and binding shops in the Austin area, and so it might not be a bad idea just to get an estimate. I've never used them, but I've heard good things about Handbridge.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

You can order cloth book repair tape from the Demco or Brodart catalogs which can also be found on the web. And one of those guys has a free book repair pamphlet which may also be available on the web. It looks like the signatures are okay so this should be a simple repair. I do not recommend using clear packing tape on books; it's not a good long term choice. There is a similar looking tape sold by library catalogs, but its composition is different.

P.S. I'm the one who sent you the book. Glad it has been apparently enjoyed.

crankywife said...

I am a professional book conservator and have treated books worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. For the love of all things holy do not use tape, any type of tape on something you plan on keeping for more than a few years. I've spent hours and hours removing tape from all sorts of things. It does nasty things over time. It will eventually discolor the paper covers and spine, and they will be irreparable. And to all the librarians out there, please don't use tape either. You keep me in business. Ship it up to me and I'll fix it for you, no charge, if you don't need it fast.