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.


Where to Start?

Do you know the difference between a French groove and an American groove? Well, I'm not talking about dance styles, ...
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Which Repair Method Should I Use?

It is important to determine why a book needs repair. Has it been damaged through carelessness or simply through use? ...
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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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