Help for a Shelf-worn Paperback




Introduction: Help for a Shelf-worn Paperback

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first to…

My daughter gave me an early Christmas gift of a book from my Amazon Wish List. She bought it locally, and this was the only copy the store had available. Notice how badly the cover is curled. The fiber in the paper has been broken, too. So, just putting weight on it and waiting will not help.

Step 1: Idea

I decided to add something to the back side that would pull the cover back into place. I needed a curved form to do it. I do not know what this is called, but my wife puts bread dough for long loaves onto each half when she bakes certain kinds of bread.

Step 2: Add a Reverse Curve

Here I am holding the bend in the cover against the opposite curve of the loaf holder. It looks awkward here because I had to hold the camera with one hand, too.

Step 3: Reinforce the Backside

I used a good quality cellophane packing tape about 2 inches wide. Although difficult to see in the photo, the yellow corner markers show the location of the packing tape.

While holding the book's cover in a curve the reverse of the curve from shelf wear, I applied a piece of tape beginning at the edge of the cover and rolling it down smoothly to avoid creases as much as possible.

When finished rolling out the tape with my fingers I trimmed any tape overhang with a good pair of scissors.

Step 4: The Result

All in all, it turned out well. Compare this with the first photo. As you might guess, the front cover needed the same reinforcement.

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    6 Discussions

    Phil B
    Phil B

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Could you explain to what you are saying, "Yes?" Thank you.


    I've found that if you leave your books stacked upon one another it saves you doing this unless you get them that way... If you add the reverse curve then put a lot of weight on it before adding the tape it'll be a little flatter afterwards, the logic is confusing but it seems to help, it also means the tape doesn't wrinkle when it gets flattened. Nice job anyway...