I have a Good to Fair 1944 First Edition of Huxley's Time Must Have A Stop; I just noticed that the spine is beginning to seperate from the boards. What sort of glue do I use to reunite spine and boards before further deterioration occurs?
It depends on the style of binding. You may want to lay down a cloth or paper hinge before you glue down the spine. I'll get back to you later with some ideas about glue and book repair. In a hurry ...
Pardon the delay. The glue I use is called PVA. It's archival quality, acid free, water soluable, and works great on paper, cardboard, cloth, leather, etc. I just bought a new bottle. The last one I had lasted 10 years. I use it on all my book repairs, except for some paper on paper repairs, which do better with paste. I love this stuff. If you use it on leather, use it sparingly. Too much and it'll soak through and darken the leather.
A torn/peeling spine is an easy repair. There are two main kinds of hardback spines, and you can tell them apart by opening the book wide and looking down at the spine. If it's tight against the back of the text, you can usually just glue down the torn/loose piece of the spine and it'll be fine. If, however, you look down and there's (by design) an open space between the spine and the text, then you need to do a bit more. I'm sure there are technical terms for all this. You can try Googling for photos and details of how to do this, but you need to glue down a section of paper or cloth to act as a backing and hinge, then glue the loose spine to that, to preserve that open space between the spine and the text. It's easy, once you get the idea of how it should work. Good luck.
Repairing books is very relaxing, for me anyway. A little glue can do miracles. Big thing to avoid is tape, which is evil and never really works anyway. Many damaged paperbacks can be fixed with nothing but glue. I haven't looked but there is probably a ton of good info online about book repair. I learned a few simple techniques when I worked in the library at college, and then developed a few of my own tricks. What I do is somewhere between simple repair and restoration. I use good materials but my main goal is making the book strong and functional again. The more you do it, the better you get at it. It's one of those "practice makes perfect" things, although I'm always discovering ways I could have done something better. The reason I got into repairing books is I've always been broke, and so I bought damaged copies of rare books at low prices, then fixed them. I still do that, although I can afford better copies. I kind of like saving them from oblivion.