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Repair that Book - Don't Add It to a Landfill

Updated on October 18, 2012

Trying to Decide If You Want to Keep A Book or Repair it:

So your book is broken. Book repair? Is it a possibility?

Do you save it or toss it in the garbage? Do you rip it apart and reuse it somehow?

What do you consider when deciding about repairing or keeping a book?

If the book is a first edition, an antique, or a valuable family Bible, of course you want to keep it. You will want to have any truly valuable book repaired by a pro who specializes in that area. You also have to have it in your budget--repairs can be quite costly.

Does the book have sentimental value? Then you might want to save it to share it with your family. I just repaired a cookbook for a friend. It was given to her many years ago by a special person. This cookbook could have been replaced for around $14.00, but the original book had notes and a personal inscription in it. So, I saved it for her. It probably cost more to repair it than the new book cost, but my friend really wanted to save this cookbook.

How important is this broken book to your life right now? Only you can decide.

This Book Can Be Repaired--Oh yes it can!

Yes, even this book can be saved!
Yes, even this book can be saved!

Video shows Tools needed to make simple book repairs

I use the following manual for book repair:

Repair a spine on a book:

How I repaired a spine on a Child's Bible. First, Trim loose paper.
How I repaired a spine on a Child's Bible. First, Trim loose paper. | Source
It is preferable to use an acid free glue. I sometimes use Tacky Glue by Aileen even though it is not acid free.
It is preferable to use an acid free glue. I sometimes use Tacky Glue by Aileen even though it is not acid free. | Source
Gently press the glued areas to the spine of the book. I used bamboo skewers and rubber bands in the photo on the right. Leave over-night.
Gently press the glued areas to the spine of the book. I used bamboo skewers and rubber bands in the photo on the right. Leave over-night. | Source

If a book cannot be repaired, then what can you do?

If a book has great illustrations, you can frame them. Have too many framed pictures in your house, then sell the individual pictures on an auction site. Just a note: postage is less if you sell it without a frame included.

Maybe your kids can use the book in art projects--decoupagé or collage anyone?

If the cover is still pretty, you could reuse the book as a hiding place. There is a very good tutorial at How to Do Stuff.

If you have a lot of nice looking books you could make a lamp. You can click Stacked Books Table Lamp to learn how.

What brought you here to this book repair page? Do you need some help fixing those broken books?

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