Manga is hard to find in Manila, so if you run across a couple of volumes dirt cheap in a second-hand store or garage sale, grab them without any hesitation.
However, these books are probably not in the best condition: dusty, grimy, torn, and generally not in great shape. Here are five easy tips you can follow to restore your second-hand treasures back into shelf condition.
Dust the books thoroughly.
Find a nice open space to work in — like your garage or your back yard. Wear a face mask and rubber gloves if you are allergic to dust. Lay out your books flat on a long table, and then whack them firmly — but not too firmly as to damage them, with a bamboo pole or an old tennis racket. Remember to flip them over so you can also get to the other side. You can stop when there is no longer any dust flying out of the books when you hit them.
Wipe down the dust jackets with a damp cloth.
Remove the dust jackets — the glossy outer cover of your manga, from your books. Take a clean piece of cloth (chamois and flannel are preferred) and dampen it slightly; be careful not to get the cloth waterlogged or you will ruin your dust jackets! Wipe down the glossy side of the books with the damp cloth. Take special care to rub out stains without damaging the paper stock of the dust jacket. When you are done, let it air-dry in a dry and draft-free location.
Straighten out warped books.
If your manga have warped due to water damage or improper storage, you can still straighten them out to a certain degree. Just grab a number of heavy books (leather-bound encyclopedias are ideal), lay down your manga on a flat surface, and weigh them down with the heavy books. Leave them overnight or even longer, depending on how badly warped your manga are.
Sand down the side of the book.
The edges of your manga’s pages have probably darkened with dirt and age, or have been stamped with the name of a manga rental shop in the case of some second-hand books. You can get it off by sanding the book’s edges down lightly with a fine grit sandpaper — try grit 280 and above. Do this gently so that you do not permanently damage the book. You can stop sanding when you have removed the dark section and have uncovered the cleaner paper underneath.
Repair small rips and tears at your discretion.
Although serious collectors do not recommend repairing rips and tears because it can lessen the value of your book on the resellers’ market, you can choose to repair books if they are for personal use. Just remember to use white glue and not adhesive tape when making repairs — the chemicals in the adhesive tape can damage the paper even further. Use a clean brush and light even strokes when applying a very thin layer of glue to the rip. Allow the glue to air-dry completely before returning the book to your shelf.