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Removing Pen From the Inside of Books


I have a thirty-year old book that I've decided to sell on eBay. When I first bought it all those years ago I wrote my name and address in it with a ball-point pen, because I never thought I'd sell it. How can I remove my name and address without ruining the book? The words are written on the inside of the front cover. Thanks for any advice.

Clare from Gloucester, MA



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By Margaret 13 124 11/17/2008 Flag

Use nail polish remover. When I worked at a bank there was a scam going around where the "crooks" would steal already written checks and then wash the ink out with nail polish remover. I was doubtful so I tried it and it worked and didn't damage the paper. Try a very small area first using a q-tip and if that works use it for the rest. It should work even though the ink is very old. Nail polish remover DOES NOT work on gel ink. Anyone still writing checks should use gel ink to protect the check info.
Good luck. Margaret from Denton, Texas

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11/17/2008 Flag

Go to a book store ... Ask them the safe way to do this so as not to ruin the paper ... If all else fails they sell special book name/owner stickers you could place over your writing and the new owner can write their own name on the new book sticker ...

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By Memere (Guest Post) 11/18/2008 Flag

If your address is not the same as what is in the book, I'd just leave it and say in the description that "previous" owners name and address written on inside page. I have bought many books with a previous owners name written in it. For me it is part of the charm of a book, especially an older book. It shows a history, so to speak, of the book. Someone who is looking for a pristine book would not buy it with writing erased or covered over. A a buyer of lots of books on e-Bay, I'm betting leaving it there, but noting it in your description, will not hurt your sale.

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By Rob 5 14 03/09/2009 Flag

You can use a book plate to cover it, but be sure to mention this in your ad. I have sold many used books, and if there is a name written inside, I offer the buyer a name plate to use.

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By mcw 80 1,752 11/15/2008 Flag

Try some liquid White-out, but make sure that you mention it in your eBay description.

Oops, sorry I posted the same idea.

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By Christine Anderson 5 122 11/17/2008 Flag

Clare, if the other suggestions don't work, or if there is still a mark left, I would glue a picture over the spot. Perhaps a flower, depending on the type of book.

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By Kathy LeSage 4 12/05/2008 Flag

We sell books. Do not use anything on paper pages. Memare is right, people will buy books with previous owners name, but if the pages are damaged, well that is a different story. Google book cleaning and that will help you find the info you need. Hope you fine this helpful and have not damaged your pages yet.

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By Cathy from Townsville, QLD (Guest Post) 01/15/2009 Flag

How about covering it with liquid paper, then cutting a patterned piece of paper to glue over the top? If you can find a tasteful pattern, and put a matching piece on the inside back cover, no-one will be any wiser that it was not meant to look this that.

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How do you remove pen (biro) names from the inside cover of books?



RE: Removing Pen From the Inside of Books

I'm not sure you can, Sandra, without damaging the paper. An eraser moistened on the tip of your tongue can remove some of it, but you might be further ahead with either a label you can paste in over the ink or liquid paper (brand name White Out).


By Rose Anne

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