A Guide On Repairing Book Spines Using Tape

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The digital age is all about getting what you want precisely when you want it. Millennials and members of generation X think it is fantastic to be alive now, but older generations know better. Instant gratification has a significant downside in that it tends to make everything that doesn’t happen instantly seem dreary and dull.

For example, instantly downloading and then reading a classic book using a smartphone app is not as satisfying as getting an old copy of the same book from a library. There is indeed an unmatched joy in turning the, sometimes yellowing, pages of an old classic novel like Moby Dick. The increased enjoyment probably has to do with the absence of haste to get to the next book.

Older Americans know the joy of reading physical novels as ascertained by the fact that most read a minimum of 12 classic books a year. Unfortunately, it is becoming difficult to get hold of functional copies of most classic book titles. This is because most old copies tend to have weak book spines which cause the pages of such books to come apart at the spine easily.

Being able to carry out spine repair of an inspiring classic tale or even a more recent but poorly bound book can be truly gratifying. This article is a guide on how to repair book spines using book repair tape.

Preparations for Book Spine repair

For you to do an excellent job in repairing a library or personal copy of the damaged book, you need to first get the right supplies for the task. The most critical item in your supply list is the book repair tape.

You can opt to use colored tape whose color matches the book cover. Cloth book repair tape would provide you with a stronger binding when the job is done. In addition to your preferred book tape, the other items you will need will include Poly-Vinyl-Acetate glue, a drill, wooden splints, a pair of scissors, a scalpel, a needle and some thread. Once you have all the supplies ready, you can then proceed to the actual task of repairing your book.

Here are the steps for carrying out spine repair

Access the Extent of Repair That Is Required

You need to determine the extent of damage to the book spine to know how much work will go into repairing the spine of your book. If the book is mostly intact apart from an unattached book cover, then the essential task will be reattaching it using anesthesia tape or other book repair tape. However, if the portions of the book pages are coming apart, then considerable input will be required for the spine repair.

Stitching the Pages Together

Stitching will be only necessary if the book in your possession is falling apart at the seams. Considering it is virtually impossible to push a needle through the pages of a book, you will be required to drill holes an inch apart near the spine.

Be sure to firmly hold the book between wooden splints as you drill the holes to prevent further damage. Make crisscrossing stitches through the holes you have made. The stitching will keep the pages of the book together.

Applying the PVA glue

The purpose of the PVA glue is to bind the cover of the book to the spine. Apply the paste evenly over the stitching on the spine using a small wooden splint. Be careful not to get the glue onto any other part of the book other than the spine.

Attaching the Book Cover using Tape

Apply a length of the cloth book repair tape on the cover along the section aligning to the book’s spine. Doing this will strengthen the binding of the book to its cover as well as reinforcing the book’s spine. Finish the spine repair job by attaching the cover to the glued spine. Be sure to set the book aside for a while for it to cure.


Repairing a book can be a truly satisfying experience. Not only do you get to preserve a classic but you are now sure you can pass it on to the next generation without the worry of losing some pages.

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