Repairing a Paperback Book

I have a paperback book that is coming loose from its cover. The pages are still all in one piece, but the cover is coming off of the glue itself.

Is there any special way to repair it? I assume that regular Elmer’s glue would be too stiff, but I’m unaware of any other adhesive that would be both strong and flexible.

Any help?

I’ve used hot melt glue (which is actually used in book bindery) to successfully repair book covers. Glue guns are pretty cheap., and the glue sets strong, but fairly flexible. It’s about as close to the original as you’ll get, I think.

Try holding the spine of the book on a hot iron for a few minutes, maybe it will re-melt the glue.

I repair paperbacks and rebind hardcovers as a hobby. My adhesive of choice is Pliobond which is a registered trademark of Ashland, Inc. and which is packaged and distributed by W.J. Ruscoe Co. of Akron Ohio. It retains flexibility indefinitely as far as I can tell so far. One disadvantage is that it takes a few days for it to develop full strength. The instructions say to keep the joint under pressure overnight but I’ve discovered that this isn’t necessary, at least for books.

Prior to finding this I favored some variety of rubbery adhesive like RTV (General Electric). However, most of them don’t adhere to paper as well as I like.

Pliobond is a contact cement so maybe any high quality contact cement might do just as well.

… and then come back and post for tips on getting that sticky goo off your iron (my tip is cola :wink: )


You could always look up book-binding in the phone book, there should be a local place that will fix it for a small fee.

Thanks to all for your suggestions!