Another day, another book with book-cloth tape.
A nice book, though —
The full-leather cover was worn, but the structure of the book was intact except for the spine covering. Besides a new spine, the book only needed a few paper mends, and of course, tape removal.
While book-cloth tape may seem like a good idea at first (library supply companies still sell it), over time the rubber-based adhesive dries out, the cloth tape falls off, and the repair fails. And the hardened crust of adhesive remains, and can be difficult to remove without further damaging the deteriorated and weak leather.
Unfortunately, old book-cloth tape repairs are all-too-common. What is not so common, though, is finding out when the tape was applied:
I removed most of the adhesive crust by gently “scrubbing” with a soft brush and 1% Klucel G in isopropanol. The Klucel G extends the working time of the alcohol, which otherwise dries too quickly to soften the adhesive. As the Klucel becomes cloudy/whitish, I scoop it off with the brush, then flush the area with isopropanol and a paint brush to clean off the rest of the adhesive/Klucel glop.