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  • June 27, 2017, 09:17:53 AM

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Author Topic: Any advice on repairing books?  (Read 772 times)

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atirial

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Any advice on repairing books?
« on: June 03, 2017, 10:55:56 AM »
We've finally got our storgae space set up to take our books so we can get then out of storage. Unfortunately two of the boxes weren't secure and while there is no direct damp damage there are speckles on the page edges, and thick layers of dust. Can this be repaired? I'm an amateur at book binding and repair, but most of what I know won't really help in this case. The books are paperbacks or have printed covers, no leatherbounds or anything like that. Most just have sentimental value, so we'd like to save them if we can.

Thipu1

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2017, 11:28:39 AM »
We've finally got our storgae space set up to take our books so we can get then out of storage. Unfortunately two of the boxes weren't secure and while there is no direct damp damage there are speckles on the page edges, and thick layers of dust. Can this be repaired? I'm an amateur at book binding and repair, but most of what I know won't really help in this case. The books are paperbacks or have printed covers, no leatherbounds or anything like that. Most just have sentimental value, so we'd like to save them if we can.

The books can probably be repaired but, since they are paperbacks, the cost of repair may not be worth it.  I suggest you ask your local library for advice.  At the least, the library can direct you to local reliable sources of archival supplies.       

atirial

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2017, 11:52:09 AM »
The books can probably be repaired but, since they are paperbacks, the cost of repair may not be worth it.  I suggest you ask your local library for advice.  At the least, the library can direct you to local reliable sources of archival supplies.
Sadly, thanks to cost-cutting (and a policy of dumping books rather than repairing them) our local library has no librarians, just racks of PCs and community volunteers who know very little about books. The local council thinks bookless libraries are the way of the future... ::)

jpcher

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2017, 12:38:40 PM »
The books can probably be repaired but, since they are paperbacks, the cost of repair may not be worth it.  I suggest you ask your local library for advice.  At the least, the library can direct you to local reliable sources of archival supplies.
Sadly, thanks to cost-cutting (and a policy of dumping books rather than repairing them) our local library has no librarians, just racks of PCs and community volunteers who know very little about books. The local council thinks bookless libraries are the way of the future... ::)

Whaaaaat? That's so sad!



I have no advice for you, but I understand the sentimentality behind books. I could tell you about the box of old Spenser paperback novels that were given to LDH by his father that was destroyed with water damage . . . but that's a long story.


I hope you find a way to fix those books! Since the library sounds like a no-go, what about calling a reputable book store?

Thipu1

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2017, 01:35:14 PM »
The books can probably be repaired but, since they are paperbacks, the cost of repair may not be worth it.  I suggest you ask your local library for advice.  At the least, the library can direct you to local reliable sources of archival supplies.
Sadly, thanks to cost-cutting (and a policy of dumping books rather than repairing them) our local library has no librarians, just racks of PCs and community volunteers who know very little about books. The local council thinks bookless libraries are the way of the future... ::)

It sounds like you may live in the UK. If so, there is probably a local historical society that can be of great help.  A historical society will be interested in preservation and know where to go for help. 

sidi-ji

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 04:07:24 PM »
This is what I do:
Vacuum or dust the books first, those speckles could be mildew. And the dust could have mold spores, so easy does it. A mask is essential..

Using a swab(Q-tip) or soft cloth, dab denatured alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (as a bleach agent) on the speckles. Put something(I use paper towels) between each  treated page to sop up the moisture and protect the other pages. Put heavy books on top of this one to keep the pages flat until dry. I replace the paper towels often to speed the drying.

Consider covering the paperbacks with heavy duty clear packing tape to beef up the flimsy covers.  I began doing this long ago with newly purchased paperbacks, and immediately cover any secondhand book. Of course clear book covers are a less frugal option. :)  Although,  I recently watched a librarian  using  tape to  repair a ripped cover on a book before giving the book to a patron. So I felt vindicated. >:D

Good luck! Whatever you end up doing, please update.

KB

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2017, 01:03:43 AM »
It is worth wrapping the books in a plastic bag and then putting them into the freezer overnight. This will kill any mould spores that you might not have noticed. If you really value the books and feel like splashing out, maybe consult a book-binding firm about converting the books into hardbacks as they will be able to do it for you properly, although it is likely to be a bit costly.

mime

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2017, 09:37:17 AM »
This is what I do:
Vacuum or dust the books first, those speckles could be mildew. And the dust could have mold spores, so easy does it. A mask is essential..

Using a swab(Q-tip) or soft cloth, dab denatured alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (as a bleach agent) on the speckles. Put something(I use paper towels) between each  treated page to sop up the moisture and protect the other pages. Put heavy books on top of this one to keep the pages flat until dry. I replace the paper towels often to speed the drying.

Consider covering the paperbacks with heavy duty clear packing tape to beef up the flimsy covers.  I began doing this long ago with newly purchased paperbacks, and immediately cover any secondhand book. Of course clear book covers are a less frugal option. :)  Although,  I recently watched a librarian  using  tape to  repair a ripped cover on a book before giving the book to a patron. So I felt vindicated. >:D

Good luck! Whatever you end up doing, please update.

ITA. This is very much in line with what I'd suggest.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2017, 01:16:47 PM »
The books can probably be repaired but, since they are paperbacks, the cost of repair may not be worth it.  I suggest you ask your local library for advice.  At the least, the library can direct you to local reliable sources of archival supplies.
Sadly, thanks to cost-cutting (and a policy of dumping books rather than repairing them) our local library has no librarians, just racks of PCs and community volunteers who know very little about books. The local council thinks bookless libraries are the way of the future... ::)

Whaaaaat? That's so sad!



I have no advice for you, but I understand the sentimentality behind books. I could tell you about the box of old Spenser paperback novels that were given to LDH by his father that was destroyed with water damage . . . but that's a long story.


I hope you find a way to fix those books! Since the library sounds like a no-go, what about calling a reputable book store?

A very long time ago, I thought about getting some of these to protect my beloved paperback books. 

http://www.shopbrodart.com/book-protection/

Now that I actually have money, I'm thinking about it again.  I have some very old, very beloved books in my collection.

atirial

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2017, 03:22:45 AM »
Just to follow up, there's been progress, and I'll add what I did in case it is useful to anyone. It looks as though the books are free of mould and mildew.

I'd put the books in a pile with tissue paper between the leaves and books and used a press (OK, bits of spare wood) to try to straighten the spines which worked. When I took them out for the repairer to check, the other thing that had happened was that the page spotting had virtually vanished.

The book repairer I spoke to said it looked like the spots were damp and mildew hadn't set in yet. His suggestion for a cheap next stage was to kill the smell and remove any remaining damp by sealing the books in an air tight box with baking soda which should get the rest of the damp out. If they still smelled after that, then call him for a second look.

So I'm out to buy more tissue paper, baking soda, and some large boxes.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2017, 07:36:31 AM »
Excellent update!  Please keep us posted.  I'm very interested in this. 

Chez Miriam

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2017, 01:57:19 PM »
Excellent update!  Please keep us posted.  I'm very interested in this.

Seconding this; I have a feeling some of my books would benefit from your dilemma...
"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."  - Julian of Norwich

sidi-ji

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2017, 06:06:39 PM »
Thanks for the update!

Mustard

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Re: Any advice on repairing books?
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2017, 08:20:43 AM »
Good to know!