How to read and enjoy old falling-apart books?
November 22, 2022 7:21 AM   Subscribe

My father has some old books of Pogo books, and I want to bring them home and share them with my child. But... they are very old and falling apart, and the child is... a child. Any tips on how to read these old books?

Are there people who will scan and rebind books? I'd prefer to keep the old pages, but not if they will fall out leaving me with a book cover and a stack of loose papers. Open to any/all advice.
posted by Vatnesine to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There are compilations in print of Pogo still -and given the brittle paper of the original non-archival printings that we still have floating around your best bed might be to buy new copies.
posted by leslies at 7:25 AM on November 22 [4 favorites]

There's definitely scanning services: is an example, not an endorsement per se.

Likewise book repair is a thing: as an example, not an endorsement.

I don't know how much financial sense it makes, but if it's sentimentally meaningful you have options.

ETA---- if you're DIY at all, there are about infinity websites/YouTube videos explaining processes for both of these tasks.
posted by adekllny at 7:31 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]

I recently bought the Pogo boxed set reprint and it's great, well-worth it!
posted by The otter lady at 7:37 AM on November 22 [3 favorites]

I got an old book rebound once (no scanning, just repair with the original pages and as much of the original cover art as was possible to preserve). It wasn't too expensive and the result was great.
posted by trig at 7:40 AM on November 22

I realize this is not at all how to do rebinding properly, but my partner had similar books and since the paper itself was clearly not going to last another generation, we just used Scotch tape. It was actually a very good foundation in how to care for books since they still required conscientious handling, and imparted the important lesson to all of us that kids' books are meant to be enjoyed even if doing so damages them somewhat.
posted by teremala at 7:53 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]

I will chime in with teremala. Repairing a book demonstrates love and value. I GO POGO.
posted by SPrintF at 8:40 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Contact your local library reference desk and ask them if they know of local book binders
posted by TimHare at 10:22 AM on November 22

Please don't use Scotch tape: it will discolour and go brittle before the child has children. In the course of a total rebind in the last century, I repaired tears and missing corners of a little 1795 book with "Japanese tissue" and "wheat flour paste". I think you can now buy this super-thin transparent paper in self-adhesive rolls. If you don't choose to embrace the process [and present day me wouldn't!] then consider carefully de-constructing the book and serving it to kidder in a book of plastic pockets like people present photos? De-contruct by guillotining off the spine. Then you can scan two-sided and get a reading copy with a hot-glue binding from the print shop. Good luck.
posted by BobTheScientist at 10:24 AM on November 22 [2 favorites]

Would you consider a book scanner? A decent one can be had for about $150. Scan them and put them on child-ereader like Fire tablet Kid's Edition.
posted by kschang at 6:33 PM on November 22

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