Monday, November 22, 2021

Removing Library Stickers from Library Editions

I acquired some more hardcover Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Digest books.  The books featured in this post are the ones that I will keep.  

I remove the library stickers from the outside of library editions whenever possible.  I never touch anything on the inside of the book, since I prefer that information to remain.  I don't mind having library discards in my library edition sets, since nearly all existing copies came from libraries.  I want the books to look nice on the shelf, which is why I remove the stickers.

For this group of seven books, I spent close to two hours removing the stickers.  I first used a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive on the tape, and then I pulled the tape off of the books.  The removal of the tape partially removed the stickers.  After I removed the tape from all of the books, I used lighter fluid on the stickers, scraping each sticker off bit by bit.  Finally, I went back and removed the stickiness that remained on each book.

These pictures show the process.  The first photo in each sequence is of the books with the library stickers.  The second photo shows the books after the tape had been removed.  The third photo shows the books after the lighter fluid had been used to remove the stickers.

Nancy Drew #155 Tornado Alley has the white spine, and I will keep it in addition to the yellow spine hardcover that I already had.

Nancy Drew #171 Grand Opera and #172 Riding Club Crime will be kept in addition to the books I already had.  They are in slightly lesser condition but the print on the spine is darker and easier to read.  The presentation of the spines is very important to me, and this is the reason why I remove the library stickers.

Nancy Drew #173 Great Lakes will replace the book I already had.  I like the binding of the new book better.  

Hardy Boys #159 Daredevils is a title that I did not have in hardcover.

Hardy Boys #178 Black Rhino is a slight upgrade to the copy I had.

Hardy Boys Ghost Stories is a title that I did not have in hardcover.

These pictures show these new books on the shelf with my other books.


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why lighter fluid? Have you ever tried rubbing alcohol in place of the lighter fluid? Also ...wondering if you have a recommendation for removing price tags from used books from stores that place price tag labels on the books. I recently bought a vintage book with the dust jacket. It was a great find but there was a price tag stuck to the dust jacket and I wish I had just left it on because when I tried to gently peel it off, part of the dust jacket remained attached to the label I had peeled off. Ugh! Love your pics of the library editions. Great finds! Best Wishes!

Jennifer White said...

Some people recommend rubbing alcohol. I tried it on one book and damaged the book. It lifts the ink from the cover off as well. It could work on library editions like these since the covers are laminated. However, it might dissolve the laminate, so I wouldn't want to try.

Some people recommend Goo Gone. Same as above. I tried it on one book and damaged the book. Goo Gone has a greasy base and leaves a stain. It also has an odor.

The reason I use lighter fluid is that it evaporates and is not hard on the surface like alcohol. Lighter fluid is very unlikely to damage the book or jacket since it evaporates.

Most price stickers can be removed from jackets and books without lifting the surface so long as lighter fluid is used. Brittle stickers are an exception. Library stickers are typically removable but require a lot more work than price stickers do.

Travis Ketchum said...

Thanks Jennifer. This is a a very informative post! I will try out your tips.