Book Repair

As a new service to book lovers, I am pleased to offer repairing and restoring cloth and leather bindings. Is your beloved family Bible falling apart? Or maybe the covers are coming off your favorite book. Get in touch, and let’s see how I can help you!

Before

The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: Before The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: Before

After

The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: After The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: After

I have taken two week-long workshops in book repair/restoration with internationally-recognized bookbinders, and learned techniques for a variety of repairs:

  • Reattaching or reinforcing loose cover boards
  • Reattaching loose sheets
  • Straightening bent corners on hardcover books
  • Mending torn pages
  • Full rebacking of both cloth and leather books (this involves taking the cover entirely off and rebuilding it using new material along the spine. In particularly damaged books, the text block is disassembled, reinforced at the spine, and resewn, essentially taking the book all the way apart and rebuilding it)

I’m currently experimenting on my own with restoring old paperbacks whose glue is disintegrating. Most bookbinders seem to think they aren’t worth the trouble, but my family collected pulp sci-fi paperbacks once upon a time, and it kills me to see them disintegrating.

My materials include various thicknesses of Japanese paper (for flexibility and strength), acrylic paints, unbleached linen and cotton fabric, leather, Filmoplast-R (for repairing torn, brittle paper), and a variety of acid-free adhesives. All books are treated with Klucel-G, a synthetic adhesive that makes a film over the book’s cover, adding strength, flexibility, and resistance to wear. It also reduces the likelihood of red rot on leather books, and slows or even stops any existing red rot.

I pride myself on retaining the aged look and feel of the book while making it strong enough to handle again. No more fretting about loose pages or catching and tearing a loose flap!

For detailed examples of my work, please check out my blog entries on restoration and repair.

Before

Perspective Made Easy: Before Perspective Made Easy: Before Perspective Made Easy: Before

After

IMG_7876 Perspective Made Easy: After Perspective Made Easy: After

How Does This Work?

It’s pretty simple!

  1. You contact me and tell me a little about your injured book.
  2. We talk about what kind of repair work you’d like done to help your book look its best.
  3. I give you an estimate (based on my hourly rate and how long I think the repairs will take). A few general estimates are below to give you an idea of what to expect.
  4. You send me your book and half the estimated amount. (I accept personal checks, electronic checks, and Paypal, and will hopefully accept Dwolla soon too!)
  5. I do the repairs (keeping you updated along the way via email).
  6. When the book is done, you send me the remaining balance and I send you your book, complete with insurance and tracking to make sure it gets to you safely.

How Much Will it Cost?

The exact cost will depend on the nature of the repairs, but here are some basic rates to give you an idea:

Repair torn pages $5/page
Re-glue loose endpapers (includes minor tear repairs) $10
Rebacking a cloth book (see here for an example)  $50
Rebinding a cloth book (includes re-sewing the text block to reattach loose pages, repairing up to 5 torn pages, and major repairs to the cover. Basically, the book is falling apart and I put it back together.) $100

Sound good? Ready to get your books looking their best again? Get in touch!