You’re probably seen them at the library or on your own bookshelf at home, old tattered paperback books that are beginning to lose pages. These beat up books often end up in the garbage, deemed by the owner to be too far beyond repair. It is possible, however, to breath life back into those old paperback books. I will explain how.
The reason I am writing about rebinding paperback books is due to a conversation I had with a customer. They were looking to rebind old paperback books. They wanted to do this as part of a business. Here are the steps I explained to the customer, which you can use, to rebind a paperback book.
Paperback books are bound using a method referred to as perfect binding. Essentially the pages of the book are run through a machine that applies glue to the backside (spine) of the paper. These pages then rest on a cover that is then wrapped around the book.
Rebinding paperback books using perfect binding is cost prohibitive. This is why comb and coil have become the binding formats of choice when it comes to rebinding paperback books. The method (comb or coil) will depend on personal preference. Comb biding and coil binding are usually chosen for rebinding due to their durability. Both plastic comb and PVC coil are next to indestructible.
Paperback Rebinding Steps
- First you’re going to want to cut off the old tattered spine of the paperback book. This is usually done by using a stack paper cutter. Stack cutters, depending on the model, can slice through ½” to 3″ of paper at a time.
- Now that the old spine has been cut off, you will want to begin comb punching or coil punching the paper. If the cover is still good, go ahead and use it. If the front and back covers are beyond repair, you may need to replace them with cover stock.
- Once all the holes have been punched, the new binding element may be inserted.
- If you are using comb, use the comb opener to open the comb and insert spine through the now comb-punched pages. Now close the comb. You’re paperback book is now solid again and has a brand new comb spine.
- If you are using coil, spin the coil through the punched holes on the paperback book and crimp off the excess coil. You now have a rebound paperback book using coil.
The end results look great. The information in those books is now accessible and easy to read again.
Be aware that I recommend using a book binding machine with disengageable (selectable) punching dies. This helps cut down on half-punched holes and will ultimately result in a better bound paperback book.
You can find our entire selection of comb binding machines here and coil binding machines here. You can find our entire selection of stack paper cutters here. Good luck! I hope you are all able to use this tips to breath new life back into your old books!