Q:

How do you restore old books?

A:

Quick Answer

Many actions harm an old book over the years, but some of the most common problems are broken and damaged bindings. Fortunately, it is possible to repair a damaged binding with household tools.

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How do you restore old books?
Credit: Thalita Carvalho CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

  1. Secure the book

    Remove the book's cover and line up any loose pages. Use two wood clamps to hold the book in place.

  2. Drill the spine of the book

    Using a power or hand drill, make a series of small holes in the binding of the book. The holes should each be about 1/8 inch from the book's spine, and 1/4 inch apart. If you have to move the clamps during the drilling process, do so without letting the pages slip.

  3. Sew the spine together

    Use heavy thread or twine to stitch the binding together. Pass the thread through each hole in the binding, then loop it over the spine of the book. Don't worry too much about how neat the stitches look, since they will be covered up when repairs are finished.

  4. Replace the cover

    Spread a layer of white glue on the inside of the book cover's spine. Press the repaired pages into the cover and allow them to sit until the glue is dry.

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