In my ten years as a librarian, I’ve repaired a LOT of books. Rubber bands, glue, tape, art erasers–these are a librarian’s best friends. But I have a parent to thank for showing me a new book repair trick. I figured if I never heard this tip in my 10 years as a librarian, it will be new to others as well.
All I did was use a fine-grained piece of sandpaper to sand-off the nastiness. In both cases, the pages of the book were okay, but the edges were disgusting. It did take a few minutes for each book (not as quick as I had hoped), but it really helped diminish the damage. AND I got a little arm-workout out of it also!