A Simple Repair Manual for Book Lovers
by Margot Rosenberg and Bern Markowitz
This small but very useful book is one I long to own. I found it once at a library, read it avidly straight through, and have never forgotten it. It's mostly about how to take care of your books- both by treating them tenderly, storing them properly and avoiding the enemies of books- dust, moisture, paper-eating insects, etc. Before reading this book I never realized how important it was to give my books a little breathing room on the shelves (instead of cramming in as many as I could, so tightly it was hard to wedge one out again). There are instructions on how to make simple repairs, often using ordinary household items. It's from this book that I learned how to carefully glue tears, iron out dogeared or wrinkled pages and make a stinky book box! However, the methods described in this book are probably not good enough to use on antique or leather-bound books (they don't seem to be archival, for example); but there is a resource list of more extensive book-repair manuals and organizations that offer classes in the book arts. What I really enjoyed about the book was its lighthearted tone and many amusing asides on book collecting and borrowing, as well as dogs. Yes, dogs! The authors owned a bookshop devoted almost entirely to literature about dogs, and kept their dogs in the shop so of course they wrote quite a bit about their dogs in here, as well as comparing book care to dog care. This might be annoying for some readers who want it to stick closer to the subject, but I thought it was delightful.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 190 pages, 2002