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How to Fix the Binding on a Hardcover Book

Updated on December 14, 2010

Here’s a great (cheap) way to fix a book whose pages have separated from the binding.  Note:  This is not intended as a professional fix for rare/sentimental books or for books that will be used daily. 

What You’ll Need…

Fabri Tac

Wax Paper/ plastic wrap

Fabric (try to get some that is as close to the type that’s already in the spine)

Small knife (x-acto works well)


Weights (other books work)

Book Binding tape


1. Make sure that the binding is actually broken. When you look at an open book from the top and you see that the pages have separated from the spine then it is broken. Also if you open the book and you can see light between the pages that is another good indicator.

2. If the pages have not already completely separated from the spine take a knife of some kind and cut the cover away from the pages. Use a ruler to guide your knife if this step needs to be taken.

3. Remove excess old binding that is attached to the pages.

4. Cut the fabric to the length of the spine and double the width of the spine. Fold it in half and use the Fabri-Tac on one side of the folded fabric. Attach the glue side of the fabric to the pages of the book. Be sure to use wax paper on the pages to protect them from excess glue.

6. Move the wax paper to the crease between the fabric and the glued spine. Close the book with the wax paper in it. Stack books/weights on the book to be fixed. Wait for the glue to completely dry (overnight works best).

7. Remove the wax paper. Glue the outside of the remaining folded fabric to the spine of the book. Place wax paper on the front pages of the book to protect them. Again close the book and wait for the glue to dry overnight.

8. Your spine should be fixed now. To patch the cut you made to repair the spine you can use binding tape so the book is functional.


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    • profile image

      Shikha Sharma 23 months ago

      I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post.

      A good informative post that you have shared and appreciate your work for sharing the information.....!!

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      What a great hub. Very useful with clear directions. Thanks much!

    • profile image

      Jeff_McRitchie 7 years ago

      Wow, this is really helpful. Now I know what to do with my books that are falling apart. Thanks!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 7 years ago

      Looks like a good way to extend the life of my worn-out books. Thanks!

    • FabLiz86 profile image

      FabLiz86 7 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

      Thank you kookoo88 for your feedback!

    • kookoo88 profile image

      kookoo88 7 years ago from Cripple Creek

      This is great. I have a few books that need fixing. :)