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Book Binding and Restoration from Home

Potpourri
By on Apr 3, 2019

Reading books has been an enjoyable hobby for centuries. In fact, historians believe that the first form of book was the tablets used in ancient Mesopotamia. Today, reading can be educational, but it can also be a form of an escape for people looking to enter another world outside of their own. While some people merely enjoy reading, others are book collectors who are extremely passionate about old books. People with this passion may even end up learning about book restoration and binding so that they can preserve more delicate acquisitions.

Book Restoration

The process of book restoration will vary depending on the needs of each specific book. On a very basic level, it's important to make sure that wherever you work in your home is clean as possible and is not exposed to direct sunlight. Some experts suggest using cotton gloves to handle delicate pages, as your hands may contain oils and dirt that could damage the pages. After setting up your work station, the next part of the process is to clean the pages of ink stains, smudges, gum, and other types of damages. Handling an antique book while restoring must be done with great care to avoid causing further damage.

Once the basics have been taken care of, the next step of fixing an old book is fixing any physical damage that's present. If the book's pages are torn, you may need document tape, which is transparent and doesn't yellow with age. Carefully place the tape over the tear, and handle the page with care. In the case of stain correction, sandpaper may be the best material to use because it's effective and treats the pages in a way that won't wet them. After caring for the tears and stains on a page, reassess its condition to make sure nothing has been missed. From that point on, the next step is to bind the book and secure your hard work.

Bookbinding

Rebinding an antique book is one of the most important parts of restoration because it seals the spine of the book, making sure that the restored pages don't fall apart. The spine of the book and its binding is what holds everything together, so doing it properly will keep your restoration intact. The first and most important step of rebinding your book is picking the right material to bind it with. The most effective options are paper, thread, leather, or a box, and each one can benefit your book in its own way. Once you're done choosing a material, you're ready for the binding process.

Binding a book can be done a few different ways. One method is using an acid-free glue to secure the spine of the book to its covering. Keep in mind that acid-free glue is crucial because the acid in regular glue can further damage the pages over time. You can also dip a rod into a bookbinding adhesive and glue the pages to the spine from within. Both of these methods are equally effective, and they both require you to work slowly and carefully.

Book Collecting

Book collecting is a hobby that is personal but based on a shared love of books that can draw people together. Many hobbyists suggest sticking to collecting from your favorite author, but some people choose to collect rare books, first editions, autographed books, books in a certain genre, works of a particular era, or even just books that are a particular color. Choose whatever theme speaks to you and you'll find that book collecting as a hobby can be easy, relaxing, and an escape from the world.

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