Signature Bindings
Quality Book Repairs, Hand Bound Books, Albums and Journals
E-Mail: glenn@signaturebindings.co.uk Mobile: 07972648001


Book Repairs

The Nature of Book Repairs

By their very nature, the requirements of any damaged book are going to be unique, but there are key elements and issues which are common in this type of work. Perhaps the boards are coming loose, or detached altogether? Maybe there are loose pages or some leaves with tears or missing pieces? It could be that the spine is missing, or the book is simply falling apart. All of these issues can usually be sorted out, but of course the cost will vary depending on the amount of work required. 

If you can e-mail photographs of the damage on your book, that may be helpful so I can get a feel for what work may be required. I am usually able to offer an estimate for the likely costs, but can only give a firm price once I have seen the book first hand.

"Is it worth repairing my book?" 

This is a question I get asked quite a lot and it isn't an easy one to answer. In terms of the intrinsic value of the book, the most common scenario is that a good sympathetic repair is unlikely to significantly increase the value of the book but it may well make it more saleable. If you can find another copy online in better condition than your own and it is cheaper than the repair, then the choice may be easy. However, there are exceptions - books of particular value or historical significance for example, where the cost of repair may be small compared to the value of the book. However, the most common value to the books I repair is sentimental value. Family heirlooms, books handed down though the family, family Bibles, dictionaries and cooking books are all commonly to be found in the bindery undergoing some kind of repair or re-binding. Only you can say what value you put on that book and what you would be prepared to spend to have it repaired. 

What's the Typical Cost of a Repair? 

As explained above, every book is different so it is very hard to give a generalisation. However, the majority of routine book repairs I deal with probably fall into the broad range of £100 to £300. Family Bibles usually require more work so are a little higher (see the Bible Repair page). I would need to see your book to give a firm quotation for any work, but I should normally be able to give you an estimate based on photographs and a discussion with you about what you would like me to do..

Paper Repairs

Books which have extensively damaged pages will often require quite a bit of time spent on paper repairs before they can be repaired or re-bound. Sometimes, when a book has to be re-sewn before binding, the folds of the pages will need to be strengthened - a process known as 'guarding'. Tears and missing sections of pages can be repaired or filled in and the frequent presence of the evil sticky tape can present sometimes unsolvable issues. paper repairs are very time consuming and can therefore significantly affect the price of a project. If the book is of historical value or is a particularly valuable volume, it may be advisable to contact a qualified conservator for advice.