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Topic: Rebinding books?

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Subject: Rebinding books?
Date Posted: 5/5/2010 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 760
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Is it allowed? I received a book in excellent condition otherwise, but it was obvious from the crackling the first couple times I fanned through it that the pages had been reglued to the spine. Since they didn't seem like they were going to fall out anytime soon and the weird crackling stopped after I flipped through the book a couple times, I didn't mark it RWAP. But should I in the future? I didn't see anything in the rules relevant to rebinding.

It seems like the only potential problem is if the person rebinding didn't do a very good job. Sometimes a books postability ends with us, but it seems like there might be a bigger chance of that happening if someone just glued it well enough to stay in during transport, but not well enough to be read.

Date Posted: 5/5/2010 2:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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I don't know.  I guess if it was good enough I couldn't be sure, then no big deal, but counting the pages might be a good idea.  But then if I couldn't tell, I probably wouldn't know and wouldn't worry about it.


Date Posted: 5/5/2010 3:20 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Is it allowed? I received a book in excellent condition otherwise, but it was obvious from the crackling the first couple times I fanned through it that the pages had been reglued to the spine.

I don't remember seeing an official posting about rebinding, and know that several times people have given tips on how to glue a book with elmers to 'get by'.

If you can't find anything in the rules against it, it probably won't be taken seriously as a complaint.

For me, I woudln't send it and wouldn't be happy to get a book that's been reglued. (Really, how many people are just going to have the right glue handy to really fix a binding?) Just like I don't consider a book with a tear that's over 1 inch that's been taped up a 'tearless' book.

I think 'fixing' a book is one of those grey areas we're all doomed to disagree on.

And are you sure it's been reglued? I've noticed more and more glue-bound books in trade size seem to come with cheap glue that doesn't age well. We've been talking about that on another thread.

Date Posted: 5/5/2010 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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Some members have posted methods to re-melt the glue that is already on the book, in order to repair it.

I personally don't glue with Elmers, because I suspect that it might dry too brittle to hold up well. But you can purchase flexible glues suitable for repairing paperback book bindings at the craft store. I have no problem with that. (The kind of repairs that I think are acceptable IMO, are when pages have come loose but the glue on the spine is not broken in half. I wouldn't attempt a  repair on a completely broken spine, but if you can repair a book that has loose pages to the extent that it will hold together for a while longer ... why not?)

IMO, its fine to repair books to make them postable again.

Regarding rips ... rips over 1 inch are not postable, whether repaired or not. But taping a smaller rip is just fine, the book remains postable, and the tape can help prevent further damage.

I "clean" book edges with sandpaper ... gets off any dirt or dirt scuffs on the edges really nicely (more nicely than you might suspect), and I have been able to rescue what would be unpostables many times.

Sticky stuff on covers can be removed in many ways, as well.

Date Posted: 5/5/2010 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/5/2009
Posts: 760
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Yes, I'm 99% sure it was reglued. It was a hardback book from an out of print series and I own books from the same series that have been published both before and after it. So unless it's only this one book from the series that has cheap glue, it was rebound.

Thank you everyone for the responses. I'm glad I didn't mark it RWAP since the consensus seems to be that it's not unpostable.

Date Posted: 5/5/2010 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,225
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I don't think a RWAP is ever warranted based on suspicions of what the sender might have done, if there isn't damage showing on the book, then it should not be marked as received damaged. 

If a repair to an unpostable is obvious (tape over a >1" cut, obvious separated cover taped or glued back on, etc) then I would say yes, RWAP, but a binding sounding like it might have been reglued doesn't sound very conclusive to me. They could have just stored the book in conditions that made the binding more brittle that the copies you have. If I received a RWAP from someone stating it sounded like I reglued the binding and someone wanted their credit back because it might not make it through their read I wouldn't be very happy.

Subject: who would prefer i book in good condition
Date Posted: 5/5/2010 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 7
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i do not want books that i can not relist.  every once in a while i am dying for a copy of a book, long out of date.  i buy those at abe.com where you have a chance to accurately describe the condition.

Date Posted: 5/6/2010 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2008
Posts: 1,237
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Wood glue works wonders for rebinding hardcover books. As a school librarian, I wind up with quite a few textbooks at the end of each year where the book has fallen out of the cover. Some of the books were handled roughly, while others others were just manufactured poorly (there was a physical science textbook that was so poorly bound that numerous copies were already broken before the boxes of brand new books was even opened). I take the books home, liberally apply wood glue to the spine, and bind them together using a clamping tool. I leave them on the patio to dry (this takes between 6 hours and 3 days, depending upon the temperature and the amount of humidity in the air--this being southern California, I can repair several in a day in hot, dry midsummer, while they take a bit longer in the cool, rainy winter).

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2009
Posts: 151
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If it's a good re-binding job, then I accept it. If it's really bad and the book is still falling appart, I RAWP.

Date Posted: 5/10/2010 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Erica- you are better of buying proper book binding glue from Brodart.  I always use Bind-Art, its flexable, PH balanced glue that dries clear and dries faster then what you have posted. I can mend a book in the morning(10am) and its dry by leaving time (5pm).

I once asked about if it was OK to rebind books and post them here and I never got a clear answer. So I dont.

That being said rebinding books is part of my job and something I have been trained to do. I would say alot of the posted exlibrary books on here have been mended in someway.
My personal books I do not rebind or mend, if they are damaged I list  them as unpostable on the BB.