First Aid for Books

First Aid for Books

The Gresswell Book Doctors’ Top 5 ‘CPR’ considerations…

Thousands of books represent a significant financial investment. Protecting books and prolonging their shelf life is essential. Gresswell has been providing book care products for over 80 years. Offering the widest range of specialised products, you can be assured we have the right one for your book care needs.

Prevention is better than cure! Whether paperback or hardback, books are prone to wear and tear. Nobody wants to remove a book from the shelves, retire a title from the Library or order unnecessary replacement stock.

Implementing our CPR (Circulation, Protection, Repair) approach aims to save time and money!


1. Circulation Efficiency

The format and types of materials that are being circulated to students/library users continue to evolve, with librarians building larger collections of high-circulating materials and an increase in the circulation of eBooks. Despite increases in these new material formats, physical books continue to be heavily circulated. Keeping materials in good shape is essential to keeping them moving through your library system.

Efficient management to increase the speed books are back in circulation, with automated materials handling growing in popularity in larger school and public libraries.

2. Protection - The Right Stuff

Paperback books play a vital, though sometimes underappreciated, role in library service. The lower cost of softcover books can help a library provide more total resources by stretching the budget to invest in the latest titles – many bestselling works are initially published in paperback in order to reduce the cost of publication.

The Achilles’ heel of softcover materials is their durability. If they are allowed to wear and become unusable (or simply unattractive) prematurely, the initial cost savings will be lost. There exists a wide variety of products designed to protect softcover materials and extend their useful life.


We offer a wide variety of cost-effective laminates for softcover, hardbacks, and hardback jackets designed to meet different needs, in a variety of different format rolls, sheets, and covers.


Download Gresswell's Book Cover Fitting Guide...

3. Repair - The Tools of the Trade

Whether administering first aid or preparing new stock for the shelf, having the right tools for the job is essential.

Gresswell understands that maximising time and resources is fundamental in busy departments and so recommends a comprehensive range of products necessary to undertake book care and repair.

Developed in response to feedback from librarians and advice book care professionals all over the world and designed to simplify and quicken tasks – these products are durable, hard-wearing and fit-for-purpose.

4. First Aid Supplies

Being able to react quickly to repair damaged books is crucial to maintaining circulation efficiency and prolonging the shelf life of all library materials.

Covers can get ripped and spines can get damaged from regular use. Bookbinding repairs can make books stronger than new and are worth investing in. Gresswell’s Book Repair Centre kit and associated recommended products are ideal for spine repair, reinforcing inside hinges, spines, periodical pages, even laminating paperback books.

Pages can come loose, either individually or in some cases the whole signature can become detached from the cover. We have a wide range of book and binder tapes and films, suitable for any requirement or budget.

When reattaching a cover, using double-stitched binder tape will result in a repair that is much more durable than the original hinges!

5. Dismiss Dirty Books

Books that are defaced, marked, stained, or just grubby from too much handling can often be cleaned, resurrected, and returned to circulation – if only you use the right products.

Pencil marks can be removed with a high-quality eraser which does not mark or discolour the paper.

A ballpoint pen is the scourge of librarians around the world – it is nigh on impossible to remove the ink from the page. Ink eradicators may be effective on unprinted areas.

Generally, books can be kept in good order using Demco Book Cleaner. With no rubbing required, this wet to dry solution is easily applied and removed and erases marks from both covers and pages.

Suitable for cloth and plastic covers. Paper covers should be wiped with dry cleaning sponges.

To quickly clean page edges – use fine grade sandpaper to quickly restore pages as good as new!

Don't know where to start?

Demco’s full Book Doctor Care Kit provides everything you need to care for and repair your library materials:

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