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How to Repair a Spine on a Child's Hardcover Book

Updated on May 24, 2017

A Child's Bible That Needs Repair:

My grand-daughter's Bible came apart. This book was not really well made. It could probably be replaced with a better book, but my grandchild loved this particular book. That is why I chose to repair it for her.
My grand-daughter's Bible came apart. This book was not really well made. It could probably be replaced with a better book, but my grandchild loved this particular book. That is why I chose to repair it for her. | Source

Repairing a Well-Loved Book:

Sometimes a book gets broken when it is loved too much. My grand-daughter loved her first Bible and read it almost every day. She was less than 5 years old, but she had been taught not to treat books badly. Her grandmother made sure of that! But sometimes general wear and tear result in the need for repairs no matter how careful we are.

If you have a beloved book with a broken spine like this one, I hope these instructions for making this repair help you out. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

Here are the supplies that you will need to make this repair:

  • Scissors to trim loose paper
  • Brushes: one to dust the book off and one to apply glue
  • PVA Glue, aka white glue, but not "school glue"
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Rubber bands

Good Glue for Book Repairs:

Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Adhesive, 8oz
Books by Hand pH Neutral PVA Adhesive, 8oz

This is one of my favorite glues for making repairs to damaged books.

 

How to Do the Repairs:

Trim loose paper.
Trim loose paper. | Source
Dust the spine and areas to be repaired with a brush. It would not hurt the book if you applied a little glue to the textblock on top of the brown paper that you see on this book. Let that glue dry before you proceed to finish the repair.
Dust the spine and areas to be repaired with a brush. It would not hurt the book if you applied a little glue to the textblock on top of the brown paper that you see on this book. Let that glue dry before you proceed to finish the repair. | Source

Applying the Glue to Repair the Spine:

Applying glue where the spine will be touching the book (joint). You do not need to apply the glue to the cardboard spine cover.
Applying glue where the spine will be touching the book (joint). You do not need to apply the glue to the cardboard spine cover. | Source
Apply glue to the corner of the textblock, too. Remember to clean the brush with warm water and soap if you want to use the brush again.
Apply glue to the corner of the textblock, too. Remember to clean the brush with warm water and soap if you want to use the brush again. | Source

Bracing the Book to Let the Glue Dry:

Gently rub the spine where the glue was applied.
Gently rub the spine where the glue was applied.
Put a bamboo skewer in the joint channel and hold it in place with rubber bands. Leave the book alone for at least half a day.
Put a bamboo skewer in the joint channel and hold it in place with rubber bands. Leave the book alone for at least half a day.

If you have any questions about this repair, please ask.

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      Diane 8 months ago

      This is really helpful, thanks! You should also update your link to the recommended glue, because that one has a 1-2 month shipping time.