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How to clean and repair ex-library books

How do you clean up your ex-library books and make them at least presentable?

One very common question we receive from customers is, “How can I take all the library markings off of an ex-library book?

Its very tempting, as book collectors, to want to malign libraries for the damage they do to books.  But as Stephen (whose parents were librarians) has often defended to me: “How many books do you think libraries would have if they didn’t mangle them with markings and pockets?”

So, we do thank you librarians one and all for helping to keep your books on the shelves for everyone to enjoy!

However, as book collectors, we do occasionally end up with an library discard book as a filler in our collection.  (Since I can’t yet afford a nice fine first of Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, for example, I have a first edition in first state dustwrapper ex-library on my own shelf).

So, to the question:  how do you clean up your ex-library books and make them at least presentable?  In this article on removing library markings from books, renowned book care expert Bern Marcowitz attacks the problem with aplomb and – naturally – a hair dryer.

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