Sometimes Duct Tape Is Not The Answer

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Susan Hansen has seen and fixed a lot of books in her tenure in Book Repair, but every once in a while one stands out.

Recently, a 1958 copy of “The Silver Spoon Mystery” by Dorothy Sterling came to Susan, and she knew she could make it more stable, as well as more visually appealing. In fact, she had to.

This book was held together by royal blue duct tape, and the title was hand written on the tape in thick black permanent marker. To say these are Preservation “no-nos” is an understatement.

To stabilize the book, Susan did a reback treatment to replace the spine. During this process, Susan carefully removed the duct tape, and was pleasantly surprised to find the original spine. She removed it, and carefully scraped away the large amount of tape residue. Susan completed the reback by reattaching the original spine cloth to the volume, making the book appear much more like it would have when first published.

It’s all in a day’s work in Book Repair, but Susan’s effort has given “The Silver Spoon Mystery” a longer shelf life.