About a month ago, we signed up as members of a privately owned Jewish book library. They have loads of great books to check out, and we signed up in time to enjoy the book for all of the holidays. Since we don’t read non-Jewish books on Shabbos or yom tov, this was a nice discovery.
I noticed that a number of the hardcover books had very loose bindings, so last night I took some time to fix them. We didn’t cause the damage, it’s just the normal kind of thing that happens when books get used alot. I’ve been repairing our books at home for years, and the high quality book glue I have does a super job at strengthening and repairing books, so it wasn’t a big deal for me but it will significantly extend the life of their books.
Last night ds2 watched me intently as I repaired three books. I left them on the dining room table to dry, along with the closed bottle of glue. I went into the kitchen to do some cleaning up, and a few minutes later ds was attempting his own book repair! He found a book of ours that had exactly the same kind of damage that I was repairing, in the same place, and proceeded to pour a huge amount of glue all over it. And all over the couch, which was the surface he decided to work on.
My kids were upset about the mess he caused (fortunately it washed off the cushion), but he did a good job on the book! I did have to scrape away oodles of glue, but he was obviously paying attention to what I did. The binding of the Curious George ABC book that he fixed will never, never get loose. :)
Supposedly the glue is only good for a year, but that’s clearly not the case since I bought it over eight years ago! I bought it from Demco, a library supply company, and the glue is called Norbond liquid plastic adhesive. It’s rated 5.5 to 6.5 ph, an all purpose book repair glue. The bottle I got was 32 ounces, which is enough to fix hundreds of books. I had no idea how effective it was or how a little bit goes very far when I bought it. I’ve routinely fixed books that my kids have borrowed from friends before sending them back, in addition to the many, many books of ours that I’ve fixed. After all of this, I still have a quarter of a bottle left!
My kids are wondering when the library will realize that the books we bring back are returned in much better condition than they were when we checked them out, but I don’t think they’ll notice and I’m not planning to mention it.