Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The perfect read ...

Reusing and recycling are two "basics" of living a green life. Did you miss my posts on these subjects? If you'd like to read them, click on the following: Reuse Recycle

The following article on repairing books is brilliant. Maybe you have a dear book that is getting tattered and you're thinking of tossing it in the recycle bin. Perhaps that beloved classic needs a face lift so that your children will have many pleasant hours reading it. Imagine giving books a new life and then giving them to libraries, thrift stores or the next door neighbor. And who wouldn't adore a collection of a loved one's favorite books ... all fixed up and given as a gift? With a little work, books can be repaired and ... in nothing flat ... be back on the shelf. So check those closets, basements, and attics for boxes of old books and ... fix them up. This is reusing and recycling at it's finest!

How to Repair a Paperback Book

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Do you have a trade paperback that has fallen on hard times? Loose pages? Cover come loose from the pages? Here's how to resurrect that book for a few more years of good reading.


Missing One or Two Pages
  1. Open the book to the place where the pages belong.
  2. Place a thin bead of glue along the crack of the spine.
  3. Carefully place the page(s) back into place, taking care to align the edges of the page with the edges of adjacent pages. To prevent glue "ooze" from making the book hard to open, place a strip of waxed paper on each side of the glued section, at the glued edge.
  4. Close the book.
  5. Wipe away any excess glue.
  6. Place the book under several heavier books to press it while it dries.
  7. Wait 3 or more hours for the glue to dry before opening the book.
Entire Cover Separated From the Pages
  1. Open the cover and lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Use plastic glue[1] to wet the spine area.
  3. Carefully place the page spine edge into the glue.
  4. Close the covers.
  5. Wipe away any excess glue that squeezes out the end of the spine.
  6. Rubber band the cover to the book and press it under several heavier books to hold it while the glue dries.
  7. Leave the book for at least 3 hours to allow it to dry. Overnight is best.
One Cover Torn Off
  1. Use tape[1] to re-attach the cover.
  2. Place the tape parallel to the spine so that half of the tape sticks to the first page of the book.
  3. Bend and fold the tape back on itself.
  4. Carefully align the cover to the spine edge.
  5. Press it onto the sticky half of the tape.
  6. Follow the instructions in Cover a Paperback Book With Clear Plastic Film to reinforce the spine.
    • Alternatively, you could cover the spine edge with heavy duty clear tape. Librarian book repair tape works best, but packing tape would suffice for a year or two (after a year or so, packing tape will yellow, dry out and cause more problems).

Cover Creased or Tattered
  1. Tack down all loose flaps or tears with plastic glue.
  2. Cover the book with plastic film once the glue has dried. Follow the instructions in Cover a Paperback Book With Clear Plastic Film or Make a Hard Cover for a Paperback Book to reinforce and/or protect the cover from further damage.


  • Patience is a virtue... Don't hurry this! Take your time and do a careful job. Hurrying only increases the likelihood that you will end up with an unsatisfactory result.

  • Plastic glue is not necessary to fix your fallen literary friends. Plain old Elmer's School Glue (yes, the kind you used in 1st grade) works just as well for fixing tatters and separating covers. You can purchase it for less than $1, it dries clear, and really does hold. It won't survive the apocalypse but your book will be secure enough to read (and will look better too!).

Things You Will Need

  • Helpful supplies to have on hand.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 Plastic Glue and Book Repair tape are available from Library Supply companies such as Brodart and DEMCO.

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Repair a Paperback Book. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

There now ... wasn't that just the perfect read?

As always ... I'd love to hear from you!