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cracked hinges

I have bought  some 18 cent. books with original leather bindings that were
in mint condition only to have the hinges crack and break and the covers
to come off .  I have used neatsfoot oil but that  didn't help and it
darkend the
leather  Is there something that you could put on the hinge area without
darkening the leather to prevent this so I could read the book?
Or is 200 plus leather impossible to be made not to beak?
I tried pushing pvc glue into cracked joints but it didnt seem to help.

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