UNBOUND: Book Repair for Booksellers


Traditionally there have been two types of book repair books, there are those books directed at the library trade, where the end goal is to prepare the book for further intense circulation, and aesthetics take a backseat to durability. The others focus on archival preservation and restoration of books of historical or monetary value, and are primarily for the binders, conservators and repairers of the book world. This leaves booksellers wandering in the desert, with a stack of books that aren’t valuable enough to send out to a full-time professional, yet are too good to discard.

This guide is intended to help extend the usefulness of books that have already lived a rich and full life. Optional solutions are presented, as there is hardly ever only one answer to the wide range of problems abused books can present. Each solution has been found to work adequately in the appropriate circumstance.

A word about library discards: regardless of what you may have learned from the Internet, fifty percent of library discards are utter trash, another forty percent are little more than reading copies and cleaned up can serve as very nice shelf copies. The other ten percent are books that are scarce in any condition and with a little bit of careful attention can be greatly improved upon. However there are a minute number of books that should not be ‘fixed’ by the amateur. One can easily turn a good book into scrap paper. So, it is assumed that you have researched the damaged book and found it not valuable enough to demand repair by a professional. It is more work for the conservator to correct a bad repair than to just start from scratch. If the book has great monetary or sentimental value, it is probably best that it be left ‘as-is’ or restored by a professional. The author takes no responsibility for the mistakes of the user, so there.

UNBOUND: Book Repair for Booksellers

By J. Godsey