More tips on how to avoid this common buyer complaint…

By Sharon Fussell, January 26, 2014

This eletter is further to my last week’s subject: how to clean up dirty books!
I was happy to receive feedback and suggestions.

Here are a couple to share with you…

The first email was from David:

Hi Sharon

Just read your latest email on cleaning books.

I quite often use a piece of sponge – the type you find in pound shops for cleaning with water (these are the same sort of thing that JML use to flog at some ridiculous price in DIY stores). With just a small amount of water added to the sponge and rubbed carefully over the cover of a book, it’s amazing how much dirt is removed – even on books that look clean to start with. Don’t go mad with it though: the sponges are slightly abrasive.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond with your suggestion David.

Next up is Ian:

Hi Sharon,

Very good points covered here. I remember in your original course book, you saying about spray polish. Don’t know if it’s still there, but it works.

Forget all the main things you have covered for book faces. Furniture polish works every time, and it’s quick. Any polish. Don’t know what’s in it, but it removes labels, sticky residue etc: I’ve used it every time.

On labels, you must leave it for about five minutes. The laminate protects the surface. The label then comes away easily. Sometimes you need to apply a second application as not all labels or glue come away smoothly, but they all come away in the end. I polish every book. You wouldn’t believe how mucky the cloth becomes – even on supposedly clean-looking books. Choose a nice fragrance and it’s great. BUT!! Not on paper covers: it ruins the surface.

Now, what about the rough top/bottom edges to dust wrappers? You must have seen thousands. Well, here’s a tip I picked up from a antique book shop: use a good quality trimmer and slice through the extreme edges. Make sure that they line up correctly: you don’t want a wonky d/j. Even if the book edges are showing, my experience has been that I haven’t had even one customer complain. If anything, they leave positive feedback.

Finally, cleaning paperback outer corners: again, another tip from the same bookshop… Pritvic. Yes: Pritvic. Carefully peel back the corner without bending the outer laminate, then apply the glue, press and squeeze at the same time & pull back with a firm grip. Et voila: a professional finished corner. It leaves the corner nice & sharp. This can also be applied to the top/bottom spine tails; and also edges. The glue dries very quickly, so it doesn’t take long to go through the offending books. However, do not get it on the pages. Practice makes perfect. Then, possibly, list at a higher description = MORE PROFIT.

Hope that helps, please pass it on. I’ll try your leaf-edge sanding technique: that looks interesting.

Thank you for that contribution Ian…

After reading these emails I felt compelled to share them with you this week – the cleaner your books are, the happier your customer will be.


What do you think?

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