Check out this very cool video on the Colossal website and watch book conservator Nobuo Okano as he repairs “an old Japanese-English dictionary that looked like it had been through a few wars. Okano approaches it like an art conservationist repairing a painting. Using very basic tools like a wooden press, chisel, water and glue, Okano reconstitutes the book to make it look like it was just purchased.
The tedious job required Okano to take each page—all 1000 of them—and flatten out all the creases with tweezers and an iron. But not everything is repaired. Okano makes some things disappear, like the initials of an old girlfriend. And much like the way a sculptor removes pieces to improve on it, Okano applies a subtractive process to bring the book back to life…”