What do you do to help books age gracefully?

book repairQuite often, when entering newly purchased books (used) you come across minor faults that you may
gloss over until they get sold. By then, of course, you have forgotten their shortcomings and mail
them, warts and all.
I try to do mine as I go, it slows things down a little but often saves returns and cometimes you get
Kudos for the state of your sales.
If I have cover tears on the cover I always repair from the inside with acid free transparent tape. This
NOT to fool the buyer (I always state there are tears) but to prevent them from getting worse. Books are
always on the move on shelves and a slight tear can evolve to a large one. When shipped movement can do the same.
With chips (if the original piece is still hanging on, use a rub-on a stick to glue it back (NOT Elmers).
Have a supply of toothpicks available to use in the tough places.
Sometimes you may get a book that has specks one the top of the pages. The simplest way to get
rid of these is to use a medium grade sandpaper and rub them away if they are not colored.
Cleaning Books. We use either Alcohol or Simple Green to clean the Covers and also to remove
stubborn labels
. You can also do wonders on the boards of old books, but be careful not to rub too hard.
The look of some books can be improved no end by a little polish. I use Meltonian Neutral Shoe Polish
Cream in my efforts.
If you are using Garage sales always try the stinky test before you buy. So many times you can buy 30
or 40 books at a terrific price and get them home, only to open up one and get a blast of mold.
There is a solution to this if you have a GOOD book that is stinky. Put it into a microwave oven for about 15 seconds a couple of times, with the volume opened at different pages. That usually kills the mold and
the stink. Some say sunshine will do the same thing but I find it only gets to a few pages. Zapping is the
On packaging books, always wrap them in a waterproof plasic bag before putting them in their container. We buy them by the thousand are they are very cheap. If the package gets wet during its progress at least the interior will be safe.
All the wrapping we all use is paper and it does absorb water. We have had deliveries left out in the rain
and the interiors have suffered.
Getting rid of labels. My wife swears by “Goop Off”, but I hate the smell. Saturate the label in Alcohol
and it comes loose if a few seconds.
I have, on several occasions, had books that were literally coming apart. I always have a roll of double
faced tape that can be used for some damage, as long as it is not visible to the naked eye.

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