Penguin Clothbound Classics discussion

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Wear and Tear > Cleaning Covers

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message 1: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
Does anyone have any suggestions about the best way to clean the covers? I bought a copy of a Christmas Carol from Amazon and the corners were soiled.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "Does anyone have any suggestions about the best way to clean the covers? I bought a copy of a Christmas Carol from Amazon and the corners were soiled."

Hi Jon! I think this might be a tough task because the fabric used for a Christmas Carol is white. And, sometimes trying to prepare a small issue will make the book look worse. However, if you are death set on fixing this issue (and at your own risk I might add) I do have a few suggestions.

1. Buy a book brush like this one: https://www.redecker.de/en/book-brush.... A good investment into keeping your collections clean and dust free.

2. You might want to contact your local bookbinder and ask them. Or, you can contact Sophia from Save Your Books: https://saveyourbooks.com. She widely known for her YouTube tutorials.

- Clean your book using an eraser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d399A.... However, do be careful because you might erase the foil on the cover too!

- Touch up the colour on a cover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcOrI.... Again, this might be difficult because 'white' isn't a colour.

Good luck and let me know how it went and, if you are happy with the result. I happen to be a student bookbinder and it will be another 2 years before I enter the field of restoration. I will ask around for you though.


message 3: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
Thanks for all your suggestions Carlijn. I tried the Mars Staedtler eraser first, since it was readily available and also white. Unfortunately, it seems to have had no effect.

The spine is ok and it goes well with the rest in my bookcase, so I suppose I'll just keep it as is, or get another copy.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "Thanks for all your suggestions Carlijn. I tried the Mars Staedtler eraser first, since it was readily available and also white. Unfortunately, it seems to have had no effect.

The spine is ok and ..."


I am sorry to hear it didn't work out; it would drive me crazy too. I got one last suggestion, but I have no experience with this product: Absorene (https://www.preservationequipment.com...). It is supposed to work on book-cloth as well. You can find demo videos on YouTube.


message 5: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
Thanks Carlijn. I'd tried Absorene too. I don't recommend using it because it has a tendency to leave pink residue behind. I first tested this on a similar problem on a Penguin Galaxy edition of The Once and Future King.

Absorene is a particular problem with the clothbound classics which catches more with its textured surface.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "Thanks Carlijn. I'd tried Absorene too. I don't recommend using it because it has a tendency to leave pink residue behind. I first tested this on a similar problem on a Penguin Galaxy edition of Th..."

Thank you for the warning; because that sounds horrible! I took a peek at what a new copy of A Christmas Carol costs today (in the off season) and it is not too bad (about €14).


message 7: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
Thanks Carlijn.

Since you are studying bookbinding, do you know if the bindings are sewn or glued? Or if the paper is acid free?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "Thanks Carlijn.

Since you are studying bookbinding, do you know if the bindings are sewn or glued? Or if the paper is acid free?"


I am afraid British publishers can cut corners when it come to the printing process. The bindings are glued. When you open your book you can see no thread in the middle, and if you look on top you can see the lack of the tell-all signatures: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section.... You can also tell this by looking at the headband, which is not sewn to the text-block (and on some editions comes bit loose).

They are printed on Forest Stewardship Council-approved paper, but sadly are not printed on recycled and acid-free paper.

You might be interested in reading 'Why English books are crummy' by Christopher Caldwell: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/cu...

However, the Penguin Clothbound Classics are a beautiful set of books that just need a little bit extra more love.


message 9: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
That was an interesting read.

It's a shame that they aren't printed and bound better than the ordinary black livery paperbacks, especially since it doesn't look to be that much more expensive.

I did some more reading and the Everyman's are printed on better paper with sewn bindings, although they don't look as nice.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "That was an interesting read.

It's a shame that they aren't printed and bound better than the ordinary black livery paperbacks, especially since it doesn't look to be that much more expensive.

I..."


The two should really 'mate' and create the perfect affordable books. Oh well...


message 11: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
A tongue in cheek comment? ;) I thought Penguin/RandomHouse now publishes both.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "A tongue in cheek comment? ;) I thought Penguin/RandomHouse now publishes both."

I believe they do, so it is extra shameful they don't apply their knowledge to make a smart design. However, I do love my Penguin Clothbound Classics dearly. Why collect them otherwise? They played a big part into me switchen careers.

I sometimes don't get publishers; this whole issue reminds me of the new Penguin English Library. I don't collect them myself but I know Penguin published them with these waxy covers and an author photo on the inside and then they also put a cheaper version with shiny cover and no author photo into circulation too. Why do that?


message 13: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
I think they do things like that to capture all of the market. Changing the cover is a minimal difference for them but expands the number of buyers for it.

It is indeed a shame since it looks like they otherwise go to some effort to create a nicely designed product.

Since your petition for Crime and Punishment was a success, why not try for better paper and binding?


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "I think they do things like that to capture all of the market. Changing the cover is a minimal difference for them but expands the number of buyers for it.

It is indeed a shame since it looks like..."


I hope you are joking! Although I am very grateful for anyone who signed, petitions are like pulling teeth. Never again!

PS. There is a lovely petition right now to make the series more diverse. Have you signed yet?


message 15: by Jon (new)

Jon Armstrong | 8 comments Mod
How about petitioning to bring these out again?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arabian-Nigh...


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Jon wrote: "How about petitioning to bring these out again?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arabian-Nigh..."


Hi Jon! I think this forum is getting away from the original subject so I think I am going to move it. I hope you don't mind? Anyway, you start a petition online and promote in on social media. I am sure all of us would sign it. Good luck!


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Have you tried crepe rubber yet? When I spill glue on a book-cloth I remove it with crepe rubber. You can ask you shoemake for a pieces (preferable the dark one and not the yellowish colour). Avoid rubbing the foil of course.


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