Meet the craftsman bringing old, damaged books back to life

December 2, 2022

A 'craftsman book repair specialist' in Upper Hutt is bringing sentimental books damaged through the generations back to life.

"The job I do is very important because everybody in the world has got their favourite book," Bill Tito told Seven Sharp.

He began his career 60 years ago, after his parents "arranged, without telling me, an apprenticeship at Parliament buildings as a bookbinder".

Now, people send him books from all over the world in the hopes of restoring their treasures to their former glory.

He's resurrected everything from bibles and dictionaries, to Shakespeare and children's books.

"I've probably seen more bibles than the Pope," he said.

Tito said he knows "every book that comes in, almost instantly, what it will look like when it goes out".

Some of his customers have become so overwhelmed after seeing the restored books that they "actually cry in front of me", Tito said.

"It's little miracles happening all the time."