Basic Book Mending attended by S. Degener

Basic Mending and Book Repair by Bonnie Thompson Norman

Bonnie has an amazing book background  so I was very curious to see what she had to say about book repair.  As someone who was a printer and currently repairs and builds all types of books, I figured she’d know a thing or two about book repairs.

First of all, she gave us a link to an amazing resource:  The Conservation Book:  A Training Manual by Artemis BonaDea at and then gave us some background into the parts of a book and how a book is made.  Knowing how a book is made is important because then it helps you understand how to repair it.

According to Bonnie, when you receive a damaged book, you first need to decide if you should repair it or just toss it.  If you decide to repair it, then made sure you use the correct product.  For example, when you use glue you should use a book binder glue because it dries clear and is flexible.  Elmer’s glue is bad because when it dries it cracks and is no longer flexible.

Bonnie was full of little tips and tricks.  She used a micro spatula to apply glue instead of a paint brush.  She used a bulldog clip so the cover would dry tightly together.  She used barbecue skewers to get the glue into tight spots.  She also told people to focus on repairing the hinge of a cover and put no glue on the spines as it actually harmed the book vs. helped it stay together.

Finally, she talked about the grain direction on a page and how if the grain was in the wrong direction, a book could be more susceptible to ripping and to expect more ripped pages on a book (versus being upset at the patron) when the grain is in the wrong direction.

Overall, Bonnie is an amazing resource who obviously has spent years print, creating and repairing books.

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