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Old 01-03-2003, 10:33 PM
AoErat AoErat is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 17
Repairing unglued book spine?


I've had this trouble with two books now, so I thought I'd ask you knowledgable folks.

Both books are bound in a paperback style with glossy pages and are quite large (width and height, not so much thickness) and heavy.

The cover/spine/back has in both cases seperated from the pages. The pages are still held together by glue, or something.

How would I go about attaching the cover ensemble back onto the pages? I suppose with some sort of glue. Is there a type of "book glue" for this purpose? If so, where could I purchase it? Or could I just use superglue or a like product?

I hope I described this well enough - any confusion is sure to be my fault.

Thanks for any help.

~ AoErat

PS: Yes, my first post. I've been lurking for months though - and this is probably the best forum I've ever come across.
Old 01-03-2003, 11:02 PM
BobT BobT is offline
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 10,565
You should show the book to a used book dealer in your area. Someone knowledgeable can look at the book and tell you whether it can be fixed or not. Not all books can be saved.

If you are going to be regluing the binding, you will likely just be using regular old white glue. That's what we use in libraries. I wouldn't use any superglue. That's designed to bond with just a drop or two, but you are going to want a big surface of sticky stuff to get everything to stick together.
Old 01-03-2003, 11:34 PM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12,684
If the books are valuable, take them to a bookbinding shop. They will probably charge quite a hefty fee but this assumes the books are worth a lot.

Libraries have book repair knowledge. Maybe the librarian can help you find a source for materials. And as BobT said, a used book dealer might be able to give you a hand.

I repair my own books, based on a month of bookbinding lessons in high school shop.

I remove the covers and put the book in a vise protected by flat pieces of masonite or wood. Cut a piece of cloth slightly bigger than the spine. I remove the old glue to the extent possible without damaging the pages and cover the spine with a layer of RTVTM or similar adhesive, then press the cloth down into the adhesive wiping up the excess from the edges. Add another layer of adhesive over the cloth. Trim the cloth after the adhesive dries. Reattach the covers as shown in this drawing.

Good luck.
Old 01-03-2003, 11:37 PM
Squink Squink is offline
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Yes
Posts: 20,327
This page recommends an flexible adhesive called Bind-Art. I've used rubber cement for the same purpose with good results, but I'm sure it depends on the size of the book. You need to use a flexible glue. Brodart sells Bind-Art and other book repair supplies. You might also call your local library to see if they have resources, or a local service that they use.


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