Select Peaks Endpaper Defect!

January 2, 2024

Hi Folks…Unfortunately, as you might have already discovered with your copy of the second edition of Select Peaks, the entire printing has a defect that could potentially cause the book’s binding to weaken and fall apart. I learned about the issue around December 27, 2023 after shipping out over 1,000 books! All books that I ship after that date are repaired.

After looking into the problem themselves, the printer admitted that they neglected to test whether the hot-melt spray-on glue that was used to attach the endpapers to the reverse side of the cover would adhere adequately to the new high-tech scuff-free matte paper that was used for the cover. Well, it turns out that the glue bond is fairly brittle and weak. You might have noticed that the endpaper adheres well to the white back side of the matte cover, but does not adhere well to the one-inch strip of matte cover that is folded over and glued down to the inside of the cover. The result, when the glue fails, is that the binding is not well supported near the top and bottom of the book (see pic on right). This lack of support, over time, could result in the unraveling of the binding. So you will definitely want to take preventative action.

[definition of endpapers: these are the white sheets of paper that are glued to the inside of the front and back covers]

Two positive notes: 1) If the glue bond on your book doesn’t break, there is no problem. Just keep an eye on the endpaper and if it starts to detach, you’ll want to follow steps for a fairly simple home fix, listed below. 2) If your endpaper edges are already detached, you’ll want to take preventative action soon to attach the endpaper edges more securely to the inside of the cover so that further damage is avoided.

[If the endpaper edges are not already detached from the inside of the cover, you can force the process if you want to take care of the problem sooner rather than later. This is what I have been doing with every book that I’m shipping after around December 27, when I learned of the issue. Here’s how. Break the glue bond by gently bending the top half inch of the front cover outward with your thumb, with fingers pressing into the cover, and pry the top cover edge away from the endpaper. You’ll hear a crack as the weak glue bond breaks. At that point, you’ll be able to easily detach the endpaper all the way around the three sides of the front cover by dragging your finger or a tool through the gap. Do the same for the back cover. Now, it’s time to fix it.]

Here is a simplified three-step fix:

  1. Squeeze or brush a long thin bead of glue in a conservative amount into the gap between the endpapers and the cover, all the way around the three edges of the front and back covers. The glue can go on either the endpaper or the folded over flap of the cover…I don’t think it matters. Make sure that the area nearest the binding receives some glue, but don’t let glue spew backwards into the spine area.
  2. Smooth the endpapers down onto the back of the cover.
  3. Insert a piece of wax paper to protect the other pages from errant glue and put weight on top of the book while the glue dries.

 

If you like more detail, follow these steps:

  1. Collect the following items before starting: Sobo Premium Craft & Fabric glue, a precision-tip glue injector like one of these, and two book-sized sheets of wax paper. (Elmers Glue, Gorilla Glue, or even rubber cement and Super Glue will work, but they are not as good as Sobo Glue, which remains flexible when it dries. Elmers and Gorilla become brittle over time, and they tend to dissolve the endpaper material and cause rumples or bumps.)
  2. Stand the book up to start, but you’ll lay it down and move it around as you proceed.
  3. Using the pointed nozzle on the glue bottle, squeeze a long thin bead of glue onto either the endpaper or the folded-over flap of the cover in the gap between the endpaper and inside cover, all the way around the edges of the book. Do this for both the front and back covers. Don’t use so much glue that it drips and spews out of the crack. Less is more.
  4. Be sure to apply glue all the way to the back of the cover nearest the binding, under both the front and back covers, as this is the most crucial area where strength is necessary to support the binding. But!…don’t let any glue spew around the corner into the spine area, as that will prevent the binding from flexing properly and could lead to other problems.
  5. Press the glued endpaper down onto the inside cover with your thumb. Use use a smoothing tool like a credit card, or ideally a Teflon Bone Folder. As you press and smooth it, work the glue inward toward the center of the inside cover so that you don’t force wet glue out the crack.
  6. Clean up any residual mess on the book with your finger or damp cloth.
  7. Insert sheets of wax paper on both sides of the book between the first and last pages of the book and the inside of the front and back covers to protect the rest of the book from any glue that seeps out of the crack before it dries.
  8. Keeping the wax paper in the book, lay the book on a clean flat surface, and place some weight on top while the glue dries.

Voila. That should do it.

I have also made a couple of videos that should help you with the procedure:

https://youtu.be/OsF8OfVZ580

https://youtu.be/O6cuDskZNao

[In the first video, I only glued the top edge of the book on both the front and back covers. For the most durable repair, you’ll want to glue all the way around the three edges of both the front and back covers, as shown in the second video.]

Embarrassingly, there is a second defect. Luckily, the second defect is only cosmetic and fairly easy to fix. The blue and white headbands on both the top and the bottom of the binding were not adequately and/or carefully glued to the binding. As a result, there is a gap between the headband and the binding. In some cases, this gap is filled with strands of glue and there’s not much you can do. I suppose you could break up the strands with a knife to make room for more glue. In other cases, the gap is open and devoid of glue. In those cases, I would just squeeze some glue into the gap between the headband and the binding and close the book for a while. Just put a little glue near the opening. Don’t put glue too far into the cave because the headband is a short piece of paper. It doesn’t go far along the binding. If you put glue deep into the cave, you will be gluing the spine to the binding and you don’t want to do that. There’s supposed to be space between the binding and the spine so the binding can flex. Don’t glue the binding to the spine, just glue the headband to the binding!

If you would rather not deal with having to fix your book, you are welcome to mail it back to me. I will fix it or replace it and send it back to you.

Thomas Turiano, 3948 Hawthorne Lane, Wilson, WY  83014

tturiano@selectpeaks.com
307-690-3296

 

Comments:

“The books are beautiful and this fix was clear and easy to execute.” –Susan, Salt Lake City, UT

“Thanks for the heads up and the fix! Book is still looking good so far but appreciate you reaching out with a solution.” –Ryan, Jackson, WY

“My book ordered/received in December has not unraveled at the binding.  If so, I can repair, as am handy with super glue!” –Larry, Colorado

 

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Thomas Turiano
3948 Hawthorne Lane
Wilson, WY 83014
tel: 307-690-3296
tturiano@selectpeaks.com