Repairing the Spine of a Book – Part 1

To make this repair a little less complex, I have broken it down into 6 stages. Each stage will have its own post :

Often the head or tail area of a book cover spine wears out while the rest of the book is still in good condition. Damage at the head of the spine is often caused by improper handling and shelving techniques, especially pulling a book off the shelf incorrectly i.e.by pulling at the head of the spine instead of placing thumb and fingers around the spine about halfway down.
NOTE: This set of instructions can be used to repair the head or tail area of a spine. To simplify the instructions, the repair is described for the head of the book.

I have a separate post on how to measure books for repair work.

Cut a strip of paper 2” wide and 6 – 10” long. Wrap the paper snugly around the book spine and mark the edges of the spine.
Place the marks at the edge of the paper. Add 1 – 2” to both sides of the book spine marks depending on the amount of damage. This measurement is the width of the book cloth patch needed to repair the tornheader.

Cut a piece of book cloth the width of the total measurement (spine plus 2 – 4”) and the length of the spine damage plus 1 l/2”.
The corners of the repair patch tend to curl when the patch is inserted, so trim them off diagonally. Cut only the very tip of the corner.

Fit the repair patch on the outside of the book and check to see that the fit is correct. The patch should extend at least 5/8” above the book board and l/2” below the bottom of the spine damage.

book spine damage

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