Question: I have some books that are precious to me because they belonged to my great grandmother, but they need some fixing. Can you do that without fully rebinding them?
Answer: We can repair books without rebinding them, but we’ll need to see what you have before determining your repair options.
When you have a book that’s just got a thing or two wrong with it, it may not need a full rebinding job. Sometimes, the spine of your book is just too beautiful to give up. We can often save the original, laying new color-matched cloth underneath.
It’s possible your book may just need some simple tightening up to look great on your shelf. We always try to work within your budget and sometimes might even recommend a replacement copy if it would be cheaper for you.
Here are some of the specific services we can offer you to save the book in its original form:
Tighten the text block.
This can often be done with a simple glue application, but if needed, we can do minor sewing repairs.
We use acrylic glues that are elastic, pH neutral, and reversible. Nearly all book bindings use glue, even sewn bindings. The right kind of glue is important. But in most cases, we would not be only re-gluing a binding that was originally only glued (a.k.a. “perfect binding”). That would take more.
We like to create a pleasant-looking spine for each book. This is the part that shows on the shelf and shelf appearance is very important. We commonly create raised (or nipped) bands on leather volumes, but not on cloth. We can imprint in gold, silver, and black with other colors available by special order. While we have a variety of font types and sizes available, we can’t promise you exact matches.
We can make page repairs using document tape and mount pieces of paper, old or new, to replace missing chunks from pages margins.
All of the paper we use for end pages is acid-free and high quality, coming from some of the best paper producers around the world. We have a wide assortment of color, printed, hand-marbled, white, and off-white papers, including 18th-century-style hand-milled paper.
For more options, also see our antique/rare book restoration page. Many of these techniques overlap.
Here’s a link to the “Ballpark Page” for a general idea of what a project may cost.
But, if you’re happy enough with what you’ve seen of our work, you can click here for an easy-to-use project form. You can enclose it with your book and mail it to us. We would send you an official estimate as soon as possible.