How To Care For And Repair Your Favorite Books

The Backbone of History

I would argue that books are the cornerstone to our society, and the backbone of history. They contain immeasurable amounts of knowledge, and have been the go to for scholars for centuries. You may argue that the internet has taken away that title, what with Wikipedia and Google so readily available; however, technology is fallible, and if it fails all we have are hard copies of books. This is why maintaining and keeping your books in good condition is important, and this is not just for book nerds like myself. If you want to help preserve your collection, here are a few professional tips to keep even your oldest tomes in tip top shape.

How To Care For Your Books

  • Use spine tape on paperback volumes to help prevent cracking and fraying from occurring. Paperback books are notorious for broken and cracked spines, especially if they are used often. Book repair tape can also be used for children’s books to help them withstand the ferocity of being handled by the little ones.
  • Book repair tape can also be used on hardcovers to add extra strength and add years to the life span of the text. This can save a lot of books, especially those that you reference frequently.
  • If a book is already on its last legs, book spine repair tape may be able to increase its integrity; however, if it’s badly damaged spine tape may not be able to hold it together well enough. If it’s an irreplaceable tome, repair it to the best of your ability and handle it with care. If it’s still in circulation, it may be best to get a new copy and retire the old one.
  • Adding tape to the outside corner of hardcovers can help prevent wear and damage. It’s a little fix, but it can help keep the books in good condition. This goes double for expensive college texts.
  • For torn pages, apply a small piece of tape to the corner of the tear. When done correctly you won’t be able to tell it ever happened.

How To Properly Use Book Repair Tape

As mentioned above, book repair tape comes in handy, both for reinforcing books, and for fixing up old worn out editions. Here are a few tips to ensure you can use it properly.

  • Prepping. It is important to apply tape to a clean area. Use a book eraser to gently clean the area and remove any build up grime and dirt. Tape can have a hard time sticking to a dirty surface, so this step is very important.
  • Taping the Spine. Roll out a stip that is approximately the length of the book. Take care to cut cleanly, and not get your scissors stuck to the adhesive. Apply the tape firmly to the book, and try to ensure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Use a flat edged blunt tool to aid in smoothing out the tape, this will help adhere the tape, and create a smooth surface. After, cut off any excess that might be left over.
  • Reinforcing Paperbacks. This process is fairly similar to the above; however, if possible try and find a clear book repair tape for this job. Roll out the tape the same way as before, and firmly apply it along the spine. Use a tool to aid in smoothing it out, and then carefully trim off any excess left over. This helps paperbacks last longer, and look better even after constant use.

Books are an important part of our society. Whether they are teaching us, or entertaining us, they have so much to offer. Keeping our collection in good condition ensures that we can continue to enjoy them for years without worrying about losing an old favorite.

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