06 November, 2004

Restoration of a vintage book!

The book on the right used to look a lot like the book on the left. I learned how to restore it back in the Spring-Summer of 2003. Whole signatures (groups of pages folded in half and nested together) and both the front and back covers were completely loose from the book. The paper was actually worn or torn out of the center of the first signature (requiring me to add paper back to the pages with paste, then the signature had to be sewn and glued back into the text block and a new spine created from new paper, with the old original spine cover glued firmly to the new cover material. The intent was to maintain as much of the old book's original integrity as possible.

Interestingly, a previous owner and avid book collector had reglued the old spine with inappropriate materials, thus making this restoration more difficult to accomplish! So, for you newbies out there who love books, do NOT try cheap book mending on your own. Something I had not realized before taking classes from reputable bookbinders and restorers is that so many sources on the market lead book collectors astray, and they end up causing more damage in the long run! GASP!!

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