I stripped the old brittle leather and sanded the surface. Then relined it with new paper and used new goatskin to cover all the places where leather should be. It was surprisingly challenging to cover nonfunctioning books. The leather had to be pared and fitted into such odd shapes and crevices.
I was able to salvage the label from the bottom book, and I created two new labels with the client’s favorites titles. Then I hinged the two parts of the box together, as the client remembered from her childhood.