Sunday, August 17, 2014

Maintaining My Books - Removing Stickers

Last week on Tea Time, a vlogcast hosted by Aubry and Margo from Harper Teen's Team Epic Reads, the topic was How To Care For Your Books. I don't know about you guys, but I don't just consider myself a reader but book collector and a book enthusiast. I love books! I love how they feel and smell. I want to take care of the books that I own as much as I can and avoid damaging them whenever possible (After watching this I'm even considering moving my bookshelves out of the direct sunlight of my windows.) I love watching their videos every week and their blog,, is also filled with lots of fun stuff. 

Personally, I spend a lot of time shopping for books. I buy new and used books and a lot of the books I purchase have stickers of some kind or another stuck to them. Some are price stickers, some are remnants of library barcode or cataloging stickers (purchased used, not stolen, I promise) and some are the ones publishers decide to stick on.  I decided to try out a few of the tips and tricks Team Epic Reads has provided for removing stickers. The following are some of my success! 

My Equipment

1 Roll of Paper Towels
1 Hair Dryer
1 Bottle of Goo Gone
A Knife or scraper (not pictured)
Books with Stickers of Various Kinds

I also put a towel down on top of the table I was working on to protect the books from any dirt or moisture since I was working outside.

And I had my IPad along to watch Netflix while I worked. :)

Book One: Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst 

For this book I couldn't heat the entire sticker all at once. I heated one end and planned on lifting it off until it ripped or became difficult then heating the other end. Instead the whole thing pealed off really easily once I heated one end and got it started. 

Book Two: Ripper by Stefan Petrucha

This was a price sticker that I had tried to remove before with very little success. After using a little heat, the sticker came right off all in one piece. Up to this point I haven't used Goo Gone at all. The heat made the stickers peal right off without any residue left behind. 

Book Three : Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Wasylowski

This book was COVERED in stickers. I don't have a good before picture. But there was at least 4 I had to remove including some library barcodes. I had purchased this book from Better World Books and it was a former library copy. This took a little more work. Heat removed several of the stickers, but I also had to use my knife to scrape off some parts of them. Then I used the Goo Gone to remove the remaining stickiness.

Book Four:  The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway


Again you can see heat removed the majority of the sticker, but there were some remains on this one. Once I rubbed some Goo Gone over the sticker, I used my knife to scrape it off gently then used more Goo Gone to remove the residue. 

Book Five : Gib and the Gray Ghost 


Again this sticker came off really easily with heat. This hardcover was also very sticky overall when it arrived. (I don't want to know why) The Goo Gone did the trick. I rubbed it all over and its squeaky clean now!

Finally (My Biggest Success!) Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 


I was really worried about trying to remove the sticker from this book. This is one of my favorite series and the cover is gorgeous so I didn't want anything to happen to it. After seeing so many of the stickers come off very easily with minimal heat, I decided it probably wouldn't hurt to try. After a few seconds of heat, I could lift one edge of the sticker and the whole thing lifted off very easily! PHEW!!  

Here are all the stickers I removed from books yesterday: 

My Own Tips to Add: 

  •  Be very careful not to over heat the stickers - My hairdryer gets very hot and, while a small amount of burn smell was ok, I found that some of the cheep stickers would easily start to burn. 
  • Goo Gone may look like it is going to stain your books, but when mine dried they were fine. 
  • The covers may get a little warped or wavy because of the heat, but again mine were fine when they cooled down. 
  • When stickers didn't peal off in one piece, I would rub some Goo Gone over the left over piece and use my knife to peal the remaining sticker off. Obviously, I was careful not to scratch my books, but the Goo Gone helped the remaining parts of the sticker to come off in larger chunks and left less goop behind. 

I had a lot of success using all the methods from Tea Time. This was a lot of fun to do and did not take very long. I spent about an hour removing stickers and I still have more books to work on. Each book was a different challenge which I really enjoyed. I can't wait to do this again! 

Happy Reading!

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