An enlightening video shines the spotlight on educator, author, and book restorer Sophia Bogle. Beaming with adoration and extensive knowledge, Bogle takes audiences through the rigorous process of reconstructing priceless tomes.

In the last 30 years, Bogle has restored thousands of books. Referring to some stages of reconstruction as “book surgery,” she emphasizes the precision and patience that goes into mastering the art of preservation. From carefully removing and washing individual pages to retracing rips and mending even the smallest tears, the arduous practice requires delicacy for a job well done.

By signing each spine’s interior nearing the moments of denouement, she leaves her mark within each project in a seemingly invisible way. Bogle highlights the beauty of cumulative narratives as she shares, “I do love the fact that there’s the story in the book, there’s the story of the restoration of the book, there’s the story of who has owned the book, and now I’m just in there a little bit more.”

Watch the video by WIRED, and check out her YouTube channel for a closer look at her techniques.


A close up cutting a book's spine open

Left: Organizational trays of book repair materials, Center: A book press, Right: Washing book pages in water

The inner spine of a book reads, "This book restored by Sophia Sept. 2023" in handwriting

Hands use a bone tool to smooth repaired pages of a book

A knife tool is used to lift paper from the inside of a hardcover book

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Explore the Intricacy and Elegance of Restoring Century-Old Books as Told by Sophia Bogle appeared first on Colossal.


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