Book restoration for beginners

Do you have any old books that you would love to have mended?  Here is an opportunity to learn how to repair them yourself on a one-day course.  We will consider running a two-day course next year if this is popular.  The tutor will be Stephen Cook.  Click on his name to see more about him.

Course outline:

This one day session is aimed at the novice bookbinder. No previous experience will be assumed. The day will cover simple repair projects: replacing endpapers, rebacking books (where the original spine has separated from the book),  repairing worn corners, recasing books in new cloth covered boards, simple gilt decoration. Students should bring a selection of repair projects with them. These can be discussed with the tutor who will advise which project(s) are suitable for the day's work. Everyone should complete 1 or 2 projects in the time allowed. It is NOT recommended that anyone bring leather book repair projects to a one day course. 

Hand tools and most materials are included, though a small additional charge may be required if more expensive 'specialist' materials are used. It is strongly advised that notebooks and digital cameras are used to record the different stages of work.

Please note: Bookbinding involves the use of extremely sharp blades and sometimes very hot equipment. Students are responsible for working safely. 

Because you will need careful attention there are only six places available, so do book early.

Comments from past participants:

I did learn what I wanted to know, but I would like to know more.

Stephen Cook is an absolute star!  A wonderful day in every way.  Charles N.

Really enjoyable course.  Good fun and sense of achievement using one’s own books.  Good pace and length of course.  Would be interested in a two-day version and working with leather.  James H.

General printed notes to accompany the course would be very helpful as the course is very practical and there is not much time to make ones own notes [Sorry just not possible, would require a whole book.  SC.].  Very clear explanation of the tasks involved.  Very good number of course members.  Food lovely as always.  Charles W.

Excellent tuition – down to earth and bending over backwards to facilitate each participant’s project and pace – Stephen didn’t stand still for a moment.  Some detailed handouts are needed if basic techniques learned are to be remembered for future independent use – some old brains can’t manage to make adequate notes during such a practical session.  A list of suppliers would also be useful.  Setting, food and facilities excellent as always.

Lovely environment, superb catering, very friendly and informative.  Excellent day out and delighted with the results.



Stephen Cook
Saturday, 24 September, 2016

Times10 - 5


What to Bring

Scalpels - No.11 blade and No.

12" steel ruler, flat

Notebook & pen

Digital camera for recording the stages of the work.


There may be a charge according to the cost of the materials you use.