This fall I’ve been volunteering in my daughter’s middle school library. Mostly the job involves shelving books kids have already read and helping kids find the books they’d like to read next.
But a few weeks ago I was promoted to Apprentice Book Repair Person.
The students have read the library’s signed copy of Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins to pieces. Three of them to be precise — the front cover and spine, the back cover, and the block of pages in the middle.
It turns out the only thing holding the book together was that Mylar cover librarians put on books to protect their dust jackets.
Once I took the Mylar cover off, the inside pages promptly divorced themselves from the rest of the book.
The librarian handed me a sad little stack of book parts, a repair manual, a rebinding machine, a stash of repair supplies, and asked me to do my best.
Reader, I fixed it.
I cannot in good conscience use the words “good as new,” but Rachel Hawkins’ Rebel Belle is ready to be loved again.
The sweetest thing?
The book needed to sit on the repair shelf for 24 hours before it could be re-introduced into the stacks. My librarian buddy saved it for me, and I got to return it to the stacks myself when I walked in last week.
Sniff. I love librarians.