I'm currently in hot, slow pursuit of a dairy-related enamel sign screwed to a seemingly decades-unused wooden door in an alley on Boston's North End, less than a block from the North Bennet Street School. While making my way back from yet another attempt at first contact, I spied this familiar title, in a sorry state, through the window of souvenir shop next to The Paul Revere House. A damaged book with a story based in Boston, during my first month in the city for a book restoration program? They say there're no such things as coincidences...
We'd just finished up a few lectures and demos on tape removal and paper repair earlier that same week. The man behind the counter, after I explained why I wanted the tousled book in the front windows and not a flawless shrink-wrapped copy from the shelf, graciously let me take the book for practice to return at my leisure upon treatment completion. Not my most astute business venture, sure, but turning practice I'd be doing anyway into a low-stakes commission seems like a step in the right direction, at any rate.
Tape removal is a tedious and slow-progressing process, to say the least. Small as this soapbox may be: never use permanent adhesives on a book in need of repair. Put it in a clear sleeve, wrap it in newspaper, find a shoebox to keep all the pieces together while preparing for a professional restoration, if necessary. Adding new foreign objects and substances to the original artifact only makes restoration more difficult later on. I'm about halfway through de-taping process now, after which I'll move on to humidifying and flattening creases, repairing tears in the dust jacket, and adding toned Japanese tissue fills to areas of loss. Below are a few more photos of the book in the state that I found it... looking forward to posting an update in the coming weeks!