Book Repair: Cassell's Spanish Dictionary

This project began with my client trying to come up with a Christmas gift for her impossible-to-buy-for husband!* This particular Cassell's Spanish Dictionary has a great history, having belonged to her husband's father, and is full of sentimental value.

The photos above feature some of my favorite steps during the process of this book repair. Cleaning the spine went really well because hide glue had been used, and once it was moistened the brittle spine linings pulled right up. These original linings on the spine were removed so I would be able to attach decorative endsheets and anchor them to the book by sewing through a few sections of the binding, this also allowed me to add new linings of acid free paper and adhesive. The bottom row of photos deserve the "favorite steps" title, because they were taken as things really started to shape up and the book looked more and more like the finished product!

Before & After- Stronger spine linings and the attachment of the new cover allow the dictionary to have the graceful opening you see in the bottom photo.

Before & After- What a difference a cover can make! Now those wilting endsheets are protected with decorative endsheets and a cover. My client selected this marbled paper (along with the bonded leather color), and I think it was such an elegant choice.

Before & After- The book can now slide easily onto a shelf without worry of pages folding or tearing.

* We all have those people in our lives! Writing "impossible-to-buy-for" made me think of my dad and all of the things I've ended up giving him. My dad is an audiologist, so ear related things always find their way into my gifting brain storm. One year I made a paper mache ear and mounted it to a clip board! What a lucky guy ;) All that aside, I think my client nailed it with this book!

Little Leather Library: Rebound

I was eying a stack of Little Leather Library books as I was browsing a vintage shop with my mother-in-law around the holidays, but decided that they could find a home with someone else, because I was looking for a little text block that I could put a new cover on and it wouldn't feel right to take the books apart when they were functioning just fine, otherwise! We ventured toward the back of the shop, at the promise of a sale section, and low and behold there were a few of these books that were falling apart with their covers detached! My mother-in-law scooped them up, and away she sped to the register. On Christmas morning I had three little broken books to unwrap, and they are such treasures!

I've started working on the book in the photo in between projects. I took the sewing apart and reinforced and re-hinged some of the pages with Japanese tissue. The paper on the left will be made into endsheets, and the leather on the right is for the new cover. The poems inside are so sweet, it'll be exciting to finish the binding so I can sit down and read all of them!