A good friend of mine recently asked me to rebind one of her favourite books, The Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb and I of course jumped at the opportunity! It’s not very often that I get the opportunity to bind a book with actual text, so I was very keen to try!
The copy she has is a lovely little machine-made binding from the early 20th century. It has obviously been well used over the years but is still in pretty good overall condition, the only problem was that the book had lost its shape slightly.
I was asked to rebind it with leather covers, so the first step was to take out the text block, remove the glue from the spine and separate the sections.
You can see the cleaned off sections in the picture to the right – I had to do some paper repairs on the spine edges so that when I re-sew the paper will be strong enough. This was my first time cleaning old animal glue off a spine and it was pretty satisfying! I’m quite pleased with the results.
I’ll keep you updated with the rest of the binding as it progresses!