Tips and Tricks: Repairing Your Hardcover’s Spine

May 29, 2015     erinbook     Discussion, Feature, Tips an Tricks, Uncategorized

Repairing Your Hardcover
Yesterday I had an incident with a book. My order from Book Outlet came damaged, and not just a little bit, a lot.
Book Outlet was fabulous. They gave me credit for 110% of what I paid. Unfortunately the book was out of stock so I couldn’t get another one. Looking at it closer I was pretty sure I could fix my poor book. Don’t worry, if this ever happens to you there’s some easy techniques you can use to repair the damage.
First you need some of this:
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue. I like the clear stuff because it’s more gel like so it can move into the crevices but the gold bottle works too. You want something flexible, NOT SUPERGLUE!
  • A toothpick. To help you spread the glue into the little spaces without making a mess.
Now for this binding I had to first glue the text block back to the cover. A medium line of glue did the trick. Then close the book and hold the spine against a flat surface so the glue has time to set and dry a little.
Once hat was done there was still the issue of the huge crack between the cover and the pages. You want to take a thin line of glue and run it along that crack. Use your toothpick to get the glue into that crack and to keep it from gluing the pages together. Again, close the book and hold the spine against the flat surface.
It will look like this once it dries:


If you need to you can get more glue into the bottom or top of the spine using the toothpick but BE GENTLE! It’s not a race and proper repair takes patience.
Set the book closed on its back for a day or so to let it dry properly. You will need to be gentle with this book from now on, do not force the spine open as far as it will go. Otherwise read as normal.
I don’t recommend using tape to seal the crack. Over time as the tape degrades it will yellow and do strange things to the pages. If you must, avoid scotch tape or try and find the book tape they use in libraries.
Repaired books are best stored flat on their backs to reduce stress on the spine. You can store your book upright but it will probably need another round of repair later.
What other tips and tricks would you guys like to see? Shoot me some suggestions in the comments, I love writing these posts for you!
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