No Knife, No Cutting Remove Book Cover and Binding – HOW TO [video]

Here I present an alternate way to remove the cover and binding instead of using a box-cutter knife. A hair-dryer heats the binding glue up to the point it gets soft and can be pulled apart. I expect this method will work with most (if not all) paperback books, and even many hardcover books (as long as not bound using sewn signatures).

It might be possible to re-bind this book, after it has been digitized via a sheet-feed scanner, HOWEVER, I know nothing about book rebinding, so you will have to verify this on your own.

Before you comment “OMG you are destroying books”, please consider: this is, in fact a TRANSFORMTION. I am freeing information from the ancient and vulnerable wood-pulp format; preserving it; backing it up to multiple locations so that it is no longer vulnerable to fire, flood, and theft; and making it far more available to me than the ancient wood-pulp format.

However, DO NOT destroy your wood-pulp book if that book has sentimental and/or fiscal value — obviously.

HOW TO use a hair dryer to remove a book’s binding

How To Remove a Book’s Binding [video]

Prepare your book for *FAST* scanning! Scan and digitize your books and your entire library.

In this video I demonstrate an easy way to remove the binding from a book so that it can be *QUICKLY* fed through an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). This will save much time during the scanning process. No special tools are required, only a sharp knife (i.e. box cutter), a straight-edge, scissors, and a cutting surface.


If cutting up books is upsetting to you, DO NOT WATCH!

Transformation, Not Destruction

Yes, the books are damaged, as the binding is removed, but you will end up with a digital copy that is more permanent (provided you have a reasonable backup protocol in place) and easier to read (because you can zoom in and make the text larger than it was originally — you will appreciate this more if you are in your forties and enjoying the effects of presbyopia.

It may be possible to rebind this book using highly viscous glue, or CURLOX binding, but I personally do not rebind any books so I cannot say for sure. Let me know what you find out, if that is something you try.