Book Repair Basics

Basic background information you should read before you start repairing your books.

Book Review – Basic Bookbinding

As you will see from the Resources page – I chose this book to include in my list of recommended items for when you are repairing your books. Here is my review of the book (and, yes, it is a well used paperback and has been repaired!). Basic Bookbinding by AW Lewis 1957 Dover Publications Inc. ISBN 0-486-20169-4 Originally written and published in 1952, this republication has additional notes for American users. The book covers basic methods of binding in…

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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 these or use them it can be difficult to keep them flat. Here is a method that might help. 1. HUMIDIFYING MATERIALS Humidifying is a process of carefully introducing moisture into paper and then drying it under controlled conditions. A simple but effective humidifier can be constructed out of two plastic garbage cans. The materials in the humidifier will absorb moisture without ever coming in…

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clam shell book box

How to Make Clam Shell Book Boxes

A simple corrugated clam shell box can be constructed from a sheet of single wall acid-free corrugated board. These boxes are faster to construct and cheaper than the traditional clam shell box seen in many libraries. The design for this corrugated box was developed by Andrea Krupp and Lillian Greenberg of the Library Company of Philadelphia and originally printed in The Abbey Newsletter, October 1991. Further refinements on the instructions are provided by the staff of the American Philosophical Society. Like a clam shell from which it derives its…

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flap wrapper

Modified Four Flap Wrapper

A modified four-flap wrapper can be constructed and glued into a binder to protect thin items or loose pages. This wrapper is similar to a four-flap wrapper (previous post), but it has a closing tab instead of the flap that tucks into the wrapper to hold the wrapper shut. The Modified Four-Flap Wrapper can be cut from a single piece of cardstock but it will be less wasteful to cut two separate pieces and glue them together.   Use a piece of paper…

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flap wrapper

How to Make a Four Flap Wrapper

Wrappers and boxes are other ways to protect books on the shelf. In a general library collection, they might be used to protect Reference books that cannot be repaired or replaced.  A modified four-flap wrapper (separate post) can be used to house fragile items or loose pages inside a binder. FOUR-FLAP WRAPPER The four-flap wrapper is constructed from two pieces of folder stock which can be obtained from book supply sources or specialist stationers. Use the technique of measuring with a piece of paper explained…

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plastic book jacket

Plastic Book Jackets

Replacing damaged or soiled plastic book jacket covers is a fast way to make books look new and inviting. The best kind of plastic book jacket cover to use is the type with two parts: a clear, plastic front and a white paper backing.   Choose a size of plastic book jacket that is long enough to cover the entire length of the book jacket. Slide the book jacket in between the plastic front and the white paper backing. Turn the book jacket over and…

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Binding Pamphlets

Binding Pamphlets and Booklets Part 5

Sewing Multiple Signature Pamphlets Into Binders A multiple-signature pamphlet that is side sewn or side stapled can be punched or drilled and sewn into a binder using the 3 or 5 hole pamphlet stitch above. Also, the staples can be removed and the signatures sewn individually. Multiple signature pamphlets that are sewn through the fold may be attached to a pamphlet binder with a secondary sewing to retain the ability of the pamphlet to open flat. Check the original sewing to make sure it is…

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Binding Pamphlets

Binding Pamphlets and Booklets Part 4

THE FIVE HOLE PAMPHLET STITCH The instructions for the five hole pamphlet stitch use a one signature pamphlet. The same sewing pattern can be used for items published as individual sheets of folded paper. Sewing multiple signature materials into pamphlet binders is discussed in a separate post. Detailed instructions for placing and punching sewing holes are given in previous posts. Measure a length of thread that is two times the height of the book plus 4 – 6”. Preparing the thread and needle is…

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Binding Pamphlets

Binding Pamphlets and Booklets Part 3

THE THREE HOLE PAMPHLET STITCH Choose the three hole stitch for fairly thin material that is less than 7” tall. A taller, heavier booklet should be sewn with the five-hole stitch. These instructions  for the three hole pamphlet stitch using a one signature pamphlet. The same sewing pattern can be used for items published as individual sheets or side stapled. Sewing multiple signature materials into pamphlet binders is discussed in a separate post. Instructions for placing and punching sewing holes can be found in previous…

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Binding Pamphlets

Binding Pamphlets and Booklets Part 2

Punching Sewing Holes in Pamphlet Materials Center Folded Materials For items that are center folded, a punching jig and signature cradle can be used. If a sewing cradle is not being used or if the material is loose pages, binder or bulldog clips can be used to hold the punching jig in place when the holes are punched. To punch the sewing stations in a booklet and a pamphlet binder at the same time, position the booklet inside the binder and hold both in place…

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