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Putting Old Books Back Into Shape

September 01, 1990|From Reader's Digest and Distributed by AP Newsfeatures

Don't discard that favorite book just because its binding, endpapers or pages are damaged. Some easy-to-do repairs with everyday items can restore it to good condition.

Here's what you'll need: white glue and a small brush to spread it, knitting needle, table knife, dampened white cloth, waxed paper, onionskin paper, self-adhesive cloth tape and an elastic bandage. Now you can tackle these problems:

Wobbly Cover:

1. Stand the book upright.

2. Pull both covers straight out.

3. Use a knitting needle to apply white glue along the joints inside the spine. Don't glue the entire book, just the joints on each side.

4. Close the book and weight it.

5. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.

Loose Spine:

1. Brush white glue along the book's two long edges, but not on the entire back.

2. Align the loose spine with the edges and press it into place.

3. Rub a flat table knife on the hinges to force out excess glue. Wipe the glue off with a damp cloth.

4. Cover the spine with waxed paper.

5. Wrap an elastic bandage around the book and let it dry for 24 hours.

Cracked Endpaper:

Endpapers, glued to the inside of the front and back covers, attach the covers to the pages which make up the body of the book.

1. Apply a thin bead of white glue and press it well into the crack.

2. Cut a waxed paper strip a few inches longer than the book.

3. Fold it lengthwise and position the fold over the glued area. (Excess glue will ooze onto the waxed paper, not the endpaper.)

4. Close the book and weight it for 24 hours.

5. Remove the waxed paper and apply self-adhesive cloth tape over the hinge for added strength.

Torn Page:

1. Place waxed paper under the tear.

2. Align the torn edges and brush white glue on the tear.

3. Cover the tear with onion skin paper.

4. Rub gently and weight it.

5. When the glue is dry, carefully peel away the excess paper.

Loose Page:

1. Cut a narrow strip of onionskin paper the length of the book. 2. Fold it lengthwise and brush white glue on the back.

3. Place one half of the paper strip on the loose page and the other half on the next page.

4. Place waxed paper across the paper strip.

5. Close the book and let the glue dry. Remove the waxed paper.

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