Here's a little piece I wrote up and included in the Feb 2013 Newsletter regarding what to do with those shop manuals coming apart at the seams:
Turn that “Falling Apart” Shop Manual
into an Ultimate Workbench Companion!
by Jason Edge
You know we all love and cherish our shop manuals and use them constantly in that never-ending pursuit of restoring our 1963 & 1964 Cadillacs. The problem is they start coming apart at the seams, and get torn and soiled after almost 50 years of use. Instead of discarding or throwing into a box or drawer you can turn them into something even more useful than before!! If you are serious about your work on these cars I recommend keeping a clean desk copy, but also keep a workbench copy as described below.
The trick is very simple, in that you take each individual page and put them in acid free clear sleeve protector which in turn goes into a Large 3 ring notebook. If you get the very large 5” notebooks and thinner sheets you can fit a complete shop manual in one note book, otherwise, it will take two notebooks. The shop manuals will require a little over 300 plastic sleeves. (306 for the 63 shop manual)
ADVANTAGES? You can thumb thru the pages with greasy fingers without worry of tearing or soiling the pages, and the pages turn easy. You simply wipe the clear sleeve down when you are finished. In addition, you can remove individual pages to make copies or scan, or to have by your side as you work on the Caddy. In closing, you can often find great deals on shop manuals that might otherwise be considered poor condition…but perfect to put in a notebook!
ps...just to add, I do the huge Master Parts books the same way...which are almost always found on ebay, etc in loose leaf form!