Bible Wreck Saved by Leonard’s Books: Before and After the Rebind Operation

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I received this project back from Leonard’s around Easter, but the holiday isn’t the only reason resurrection was on my mind.  It began as a bonded leather NIV Study Bible from Zondervan. Then it became a ripped up pile of paper…but a beloved pile. It was my sister’s, and she sent it back from her post in South Asia in order for me to facilitate its resurrection! So upon receiving it, I promptly snapped pictures to document the disaster that was my sister’s Bible, and then I promptly put the ugly thing in a box and dispatched it to Burrows, Indiana, home of Leonard’s Book Restoration Station. I’ve previously documented their work on my own Bible (featured also below), and you can see it by clicking here.

Here are the specs: “Camel Bomber” Pebble Grain Cowhide with 3/8″ overhang, brown leatherette end pages, and 3/8″ ribbons (brown, turquoise, and burgundy).  Read my other write-up for more details, but suffice it to say the good folks at Leonard’s are master craftsmen (and craftswomen!), and they worked a near miracle on this Bible. Check out the before and after gallery (click to enlarge):

The binding is extremely flexible, even after all the repairs they had to do. I love the texture and pliability of the leather, and its unique, “camel” color (i.e. tan).


This Bible had a lot of torn pages, and I was wondering how they’d fix that. Take a look at their extraordinary and skillful attention to detail (see if you can even find the repair tape!):


And also check out the photos comparing it with my Distressed Walnut Cowhide rebind from last year. The two leathers are quite similar, and I recommend both without reserve:

Among Leonard’s thicker pebble grain cowhides, there are two other options as well: Cherry Bomber and Hazelnut Bomber (see those two plus the Camel Bomber in this video).


If you’re considering it, make like Nike and “Just do it”. Whether you’re looking to custom-create your own premium Bible or just have your old standby repaired or rebound, be encouraged to choose Leonard’s.  Their website does the job okay, but it isn’t a cakewalk finding what you want among the myriad of options, so look around, ask lots of questions (bookbinding@leonardsbooks.com), check out their Facebook page, and good luck!

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8 thoughts on “Bible Wreck Saved by Leonard’s Books: Before and After the Rebind Operation

  1. I used Leonard’s a few years ago to restore a looseleaf bible. (A discontinued type made by World Publishing). It looks just like a regular leather bible but has two threaded posts to facilitate adding pages for notes\sermons etc. I had checked with several places but no one seemed willing\capable of restoring it. Leonards however was happy to do so. The thing was a an absolute mess when I shipped it and it came back looking like a dream.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Ray! You’ll notice that I actually linked your video in my write-up. I agree about Leonard’s, though the only other bindery I’ve experienced is Mechling. I appreciate your work on YouTube, as it helps a lot to see the work from more angles than my photographs can offer. (PS thanks for that NASB video…I’m the one who requested it!)

    2. …by the way, which of the colors do you favor– hazelnut, cherry, or camel? Take a look at my distressed walnut one if you get a chance. Its not in the “bomber” series, but its the same, thicker pebble grain cowhide. Fantastic color.

      1. Definitely the Cherry Bomber is my favorite. It’s on my NASB/LBLA bilingual Bible which I use all the time. It’s the perfect shade and on big books the thick leathers work best. I have one I want to send out, i will consider the walnut thanks.

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