Book Repair Basics

There are a number of repairs you can do to help lengthen the life of your favourite books, and like any trade, there are a myriad of terms and tools that you don’t come across every day.

To help you through this maze, I have listed here (with links) all the information on this site that I have categorised as Book Repair Basics. It covers everything from how to decide if you should repair your book, what tools you might need to step by step instructions for simple repair tasks.

book repair folder

Book Repair Tools

Let's have a look at the most useful tools you can have to help you repair your favorite books. A ...
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Book Review – Basic Bookbinding

As you will see from the Resources page - I chose this book to include in my list of recommended ...
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Cleaning Books

Cleaning Books

Other Types of Cleaning Dry cleaning (as covered in a previous post) will only remove surface dirt. More advanced cleaning techniques ...
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Cleaning Books

Cleaning Pages of a Book

When attempting to clean paper, always start with the least abrasive cleaning method before trying others. Keep in mind that cleaning ...
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Clear Plastic Tape (Sticky Tape)

Many books are repaired with clear plastic tape or "sticky tape". What appears to be a quick solution can become ...
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rebacking a book

Complex Book Repairs

ADVANCED REPAIRS Serious repair problems take more time and skill to accomplish than any other level of repair. Often, books that ...
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Designing Specific Book Repair Work

Often a damaged book does not easily fit into a single repair category. It might be bound in an unfamiliar style ...
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Document Repair Tape

Document Repair Tape

Document repair tapes differ from common clear plastic in several ways. The carrier (the part of the tape that holds ...
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Drying Book Repair Work

Most repairs involve moisture of some kind, be it paste or glue. When moisture is introduced into paper, board or cloth, ...
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rolled up maps

Flattening Rolled Paper

We often keep large maps and posters rolled up - usually to save space. When you want to look at ...
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Heat Set Tissue

Heat set tissue is a thin tissue that has been coated with a heat activated, acrylic adhesive. The tissue is ...
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Hinging In A Single Text Page

Tear a strip of Japanese repair tissue approximately l/2” wide and as long as the height of the page. Japanese tissue ...
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Planning and Preparation

Where to start?

Is my book worth repairing?

Which repair method should I use?

Planning your repairs

Designing specific book repair work

Complex book repairs

Using bookshelves correctly

How to measure a book

How to test for grain in paper or book cloth

Book repair tools

Book repair sewing needles

Book repair thread | Linen thread

Preparing thread for book repairs

Tying knots

Drying book repair work

How to make a punch hole jig

Punching cradle instructions


Techniques and Methods

Cleaning pages of a book

Repairing paper

Simple or complex paper tears

Japanese repair tissue

Heat set tissue

Document repair tape

Clear plastic tape (sticky tape)

Repairs with document tape

Book repair – glue or paste?

Book repair glue

Wheat paste recipes

Repairing cut paper or pages

Adhesives and repair tissue

Repairing holes in book pages

Missing page corners

Replacing missing book corners

Re-attaching loose pages

Hinging in detached pages

Replacing missing pages

Flattening Rolled Paper

How to make clam shell book boxes

How to make a four flap wrapper

Modified four flap wrapper

Plastic book jackets

Binding pamphlets and booklets

Reinforcing spiral bound books

How to remove paperclips

How to remove staples


If the specific technique or problem you want is not listed here, please check both the Hardcover and Paperback Book Repair pages for more techniques that are designed for these types of books.


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