Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a "book from an ordered stack of "paper sheets that are folded together into sections or sometimes left as a stack of individual sheets. The stack is then bound together along one edge by either sewing with thread through the folds or by a layer of flexible adhesive. Alternative methods to binding a stack together that are cheaper but less permanent include loose-leaf rings, individual screw posts or binding posts, twin loop spine coils, plastic spiral coils, and plastic spine combs. For protection, the bound stack is either wrapped in a flexible cover or attached to stiff boards. Finally, an attractive cover is adhered to the boards and a label with identifying information is attached to the covers along with additional decoration. Book artists or specialists in book decoration can greatly expand the previous explanation to include book like objects of visual art with high value and artistic merit of exceptional quality in addition to the book's content of text and illustrations.
Before the computer age, the bookbinding trade involved two divisions. First, there was "Stationery binding (known as "vellum binding in the trade) which deals with making new books to be written into and intended for handwritten entries such as accounting ledgers, business journals, blank books, and guest log books, along with other general office stationery such as "note books, manifold books, day books, diaries, portfolios, etc. Second was "Letterpress binding which deals with making new books intended to be read from and includes "library binding, fine binding, edition binding, and publisher's bindings. A result of the new bindings is a third division dealing with the repair, restoration, and conservation of old used bindings. With the digital age, personal computers have replaced the pen and paper based accounting that used to drive most of the work in the stationery binding industry.
Today, modern bookbinding is divided between hand binding by individual craftsmen working in a one-room studio shop and commercial bindings mass-produced by high speed machines in a production line factory. There is a broad grey area between the two divisions. The size and complexity of a bindery shop varies with job types, for example, from one of a kind custom jobs, to repair/restoration work, to library rebinding, to preservation binding, to small edition binding, to extra binding, and finally to large run publisher's binding. There are cases where the printing and binding jobs are combined in one shop. A step up to the next level of mechanization is determined by economics of scale until you reach production runs of ten thousand copies or more in a factory employing a dozen or more workers.
Bookbinding is a specialized trade that relies on basic operations of measuring, cutting, and gluing. A finished book depends on a minimum of about two dozen operations to complete but sometimes more than double that according to the specific style and materials. All operations have a specific order and each one relies on accurate completion of the previous step with little room for back tracking. An extremely durable binding can be achieved by using the best hand techniques and finest materials when compared to a common publisher's binding that falls apart after normal use.
Bookbinding combines skills from other trades such as paper and fabric crafts, leather work, model making, and graphic arts. It requires knowledge about numerous varieties of book structures along with all the internal and external details of assembly. A working knowledge of the materials involved is required. A book craftsman needs a minimum set of hand tools but with experience will find an extensive collection of secondary hand tools and even items of heavy equipment that are valuable for greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
Bookbinding is an artistic craft of great antiquity, and at the same time, a highly mechanized industry. The division between craft and industry is not so wide as might at first be imagined. It is interesting to observe that the main problems faced by the mass-production bookbinder are the same as those that confronted the medieval craftsman or the modern hand binder. The first problem is still how to hold together the pages of a book; secondly is how to cover and protect the gathering of pages once they are held together; and thirdly, how to label and decorate the protective cover.
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The craft of bookbinding probably originated in "India, where religious "sutras were copied on to palm leaves (cut into two, lengthwise) with a metal stylus. The leaf was then dried and rubbed with ink, which would form a stain in the wound. The finished leaves were given numbers, and two long twines were threaded through each end through wooden boards, making a "palm-leaf book. When the book was closed, the excess twine would be wrapped around the boards to protect the manuscript leaves. Buddhist monks took the idea through Afghanistan to China in the first century BC.
Similar techniques can also be found in ancient Egypt where priestly texts were compiled on scrolls and books of papyrus. Another version of bookmaking can be seen through the ancient "Mayan codex; only four are known to have survived the Spanish invasion of Latin America.
Writers in the Hellenistic-Roman culture wrote longer texts as "scrolls; these were stored in boxes or shelving with small cubbyholes, similar to a modern winerack. Court records and notes were written on "wax tablets, while important documents were written on "papyrus or "parchment. The modern English word book comes from the Proto-Germanic *bokiz, referring to the beechwood on which early written works were recorded.
The book was not needed in ancient times, as many early Greek texts—scrolls—were 30 pages long, which were customarily folded accordion-fashion to fit into the hand. Roman works were often longer, running to hundreds of pages. The Greeks used to call their books tome, meaning "to cut". The Egyptian "Book of the Dead was a massive 200 pages long and was used in funerary services for the deceased. "Torah scrolls, editions of the Jewish holy book, were—and still are—also held in special holders when read.
Scrolls can be rolled in one of two ways. The first method is to wrap the scroll around a single core, similar to a modern roll of paper towels. While simple to construct, a single core scroll has a major disadvantage: in order to read text at the end of the scroll, the entire scroll must be unwound. This is partially overcome in the second method, which is to wrap the scroll around two cores, as in a Torah. With a double scroll, the text can be accessed from both beginning and end, and the portions of the scroll not being read can remain wound. This still leaves the scroll a sequential-access medium: to reach a given page, one generally has to unroll and re-roll many other pages.
In addition to the scroll, "wax tablets were commonly used in Antiquity as a writing surface. "Diptychs and later "polyptych formats were often hinged together along one edge, analogous to the spine of modern books, as well as a folding concertina format. Such a set of simple wooden boards sewn together was called by the Romans a "codex (pl. codices)—from the Latin word caudex, meaning "the trunk" of a tree, around the first century AD. Two ancient polyptychs, a pentaptych and octoptych, excavated at "Herculaneum employed a unique connecting system that presages later sewing on thongs or cords.
At the turn of the first century, a kind of folded parchment notebook called pugillares membranei in Latin, became commonly used for writing in the "Roman Empire. This term was used by both the pagan poet "Martial and "Christian "apostle "Paul the Apostle. "Martial used the term with reference to gifts of literature exchanged by Romans during the festival of "Saturnalia. According to T. C. Skeat, "in at least three cases and probably in all, in the form of codices" and he theorized that this form of notebook was invented in Rome and then "must have spread rapidly to the Near East". In his discussion of one of the earliest pagan parchment codices to survive from "Oxyrhynchus in Egypt, Eric Turner seems to challenge Skeat's notion when stating "its mere existence is evidence that this book form had a prehistory" and that "early experiments with this book form may well have taken place outside of Egypt".
Early intact codices were discovered at "Nag Hammadi in Egypt. Consisting of primarily Gnostic texts in Coptic, the books were mostly written on "papyrus, and while many are single-quire, a few are multi-quire. Codices were a significant improvement over papyrus or vellum scrolls in that they were easier to handle. However, despite allowing writing on both sides of the leaves, they were still foliated—numbered on the leaves, like the Indian books. The idea spread quickly through the early churches, and the word Bible comes from the town where the Byzantine monks established their first "scriptorium, "Byblos, in modern Lebanon. The idea of numbering each side of the page—Latin pagina, "to fasten"—appeared when the text of the individual testaments of the Bible were combined and text had to be searched through more quickly. This book format became the preferred way of preserving manuscript or printed material.
Western books from the fifth century onwards["citation needed] were bound between hard covers, with pages made from parchment folded and sewn on to strong cords or ligaments that were attached to wooden boards and covered with leather. Since early books were exclusively handwritten on handmade materials, sizes and styles varied considerably, and there was no standard of uniformity. Early and medieval codices were bound with flat spines, and it was not until the fifteenth century that books began to have the rounded spines associated with hardcovers today. Because the vellum of early books would react to humidity by swelling, causing the book to take on a characteristic wedge shape, the wooden covers of medieval books were often secured with straps or clasps. These straps, along with metal bosses on the book's covers to keep it raised off the surface that it rests on, are collectively known as furniture.
The earliest surviving European bookbinding is the "St Cuthbert Gospel of about 700, in red goatskin, now in the "British Library, whose decoration includes raised patterns and coloured tooled designs. Very grand manuscripts for liturgical rather than library use had covers in "metalwork called "treasure bindings, often studded with gems and incorporating "ivory relief panels or enamel elements. Very few of these have survived intact, as they have been broken up for their precious materials, but a fair number of the ivory panels have survived, as they were hard to recycle; the divided panels from the "Codex Aureus of Lorsch are among the most notable. The 8th century "Vienna Coronation Gospels were given a new gold relief cover in about 1500, and the "Lindau Gospels (now "Morgan Library, New York) have their original cover from around 800.
Luxury medieval books for the library had leather covers decorated, often all over, with tooling (incised lines or patterns), "blind stamps, and often small metal pieces of furniture. Medieval stamps showed animals and figures as well as the vegetal and geometric designs that would later dominate book cover decoration. Until the end of the period books were not usually stood up on shelves in the modern way. The most functional books were bound in plain white "vellum over boards, and had a brief title hand-written on the spine. Techniques for fixing "gold leaf under the tooling and stamps were imported from the Islamic world in the 15th century, and thereafter the gold-tooled leather binding has remained the conventional choice for high quality bindings for collectors, though cheaper bindings that only used gold for the title on the spine, or not at all, were always more common. Although the arrival of the printed book vastly increased the number of books produced in Europe, it did not in itself change the various styles of binding used, except that vellum became much less used.
"Cai Lun (ca. 50 AD – 121) introduced the first significant improvement and standardization of papermaking by adding essential new materials into its composition.
In the 8th century "Arabs learned the arts of papermaking from the Chinese and were then the first to bind "paper into books at the start of the "Islamic Golden Age. Particular skills were developed for "Arabic calligraphy, "miniatures and bookbinding. The people who worked in making books were called Warraqin or paper professionals. The Arabs made books lighter—sewn with silk and bound with leather covered paste boards, they had a flap that wrapped the book up when not in use. As paper was less reactive to humidity, the heavy boards were not needed. The production of books became a real industry and cities like "Marrakech, "Morocco, had a street named Kutubiyyin or book sellers, which contained more than 100 bookshops in the 12th century. The famous "Koutoubia Mosque is named so because of its location on this street. Because the "Qur'an itself was considered a sacred object, in order to beautify the book containing the holy scripture, a culture of calligraphy and lavish bookbinding developed.
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With the arrival (from the East) of "rag paper manufacturing in Europe in the late "Middle Ages and the use of the "printing press beginning in the mid-15th century, bookbinding began to standardize somewhat, but page sizes still varied considerably.["citation needed]
In the early sixteenth century, the Italian printer "Aldus Manutius realized that personal books would need to fit in saddle bags and thus produced books in the smaller formats of "quartos (one-quarter-size pages) and "octavos (one-eighth-size pages).
With printing, the books became more accessible and were stored on their side on long shelves for the first time. Clasps were removed, and titles were added to the spine.
In the German book-distribution system of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the end-user buyers of books "generally made separate arrangements with either the publisher or a bookbinder to have printed sheets bound according to their wishes and their budget".
The reduced cost of books facilitated cheap lightweight Bibles, made from tissue-thin oxford paper, with floppy covers, that resembled the early "Arabic "Qurans, enabling missionaries to take portable books with them around the world, and modern wood glues enabled the addition of paperback covers to simple glue bindings.
Historical forms of binding include the following:
Some older presses could not separate the pages of a book, so readers used a "paper knife to separate the outer edges of pages as a book was read.
There are various commercial techniques in use today. Today, most commercially produced books belong to one of four categories:
A "hardcover, hardbound or hardback book has rigid covers and is stitched in the spine. Looking from the top of the spine, the book can be seen to consist of a number of signatures bound together. When the book is opened in the middle of a signature, the binding threads are visible. Signatures of hardcover books are typically "octavo (a single sheet folded three times), though they may also be folio, quarto, or 16mo (see "Book size). Unusually large and heavy books are sometimes bound with wire.
Until the mid-20th century, covers of mass-produced books were laid with cloth, but from that period onward, most publishers adopted clothette, a kind of textured paper which vaguely resembles cloth but is easily differentiated on close inspection. Most cloth-bound books are now half-and-half covers with cloth covering only the spine. In that case, the cover has a paper overlap. The covers of modern hardback books are made of thick cardboard.
Some books that appeared in the mid-20th century signature-bound appear in reprinted editions in glued-together editions. Copies of such books stitched together in their original format are often difficult to find, and are much sought after for both aesthetic and practical reasons.
A variation of the hardcover which is more durable is the calf-binding, where the cover is either half or fully clad in "leather, usually from a "calf. This is also called full-bound or, simply, leather bound.
"Library binding refers to the "hardcover binding of books intended for the rigors of "library use and are largely "serials and "paperback publications. Though many publishers have started to provide "library binding" editions, many libraries elect to purchase paperbacks and have them rebound as hardcover books, resulting in longer life for the material.
There are a number of methods used to bind hardcover books, from them:
Different types of the punch and bind binding include:
Some of the different types of thermally activated binding include:
Types of stitched or sewn bindings:
Modern bookbinding by hand can be seen as two closely allied fields: the creation of new bindings, and the repair of existing bindings. Bookbinders are often active in both fields. Bookbinders can learn the craft through "apprenticeship; by attending specialized trade schools; by taking classes in the course of university studies, or by a combination of those methods. Some European countries offer a Master Bookbinder certification, though no such certification exists in the United States. MFA programs that specialize in the 'Book Arts' (hand paper-making, printmaking and bookbinding) are available through certain colleges and universities.
Hand bookbinders create new bindings that run the gamut from historical book structures made with traditional materials to modern structures made with 21st-century materials, and from basic cloth-case bindings to valuable full-leather fine bindings. Repairs to existing books also encompass a broad range of techniques, from minimally invasive conservation of a historic book to the full restoration and rebinding of a text.
Though almost any existing book can be repaired to some extent, only books that were originally sewn can be rebound by resewing. Repairs or restorations are often done to emulate the style of the original binding. For new works, some publishers print unbound manuscripts which a binder can collate and bind, but often an existing commercially bound book is pulled, or taken apart, in order to be given a new binding. Once the textblock of the book has been pulled, it can be rebound in almost any structure; a modern suspense novel, for instance, could be rebound to look like a 16th-century manuscript. Bookbinders may bind several copies of the same text, giving each copy a unique appearance.
Hand bookbinders use a variety of specialized hand tools, the most emblematic of which is the "bonefolder, a flat, tapered, polished piece of bone used to crease paper and apply pressure. Additional tools common to hand bookbinding include a variety of knives and hammers, as well as brass tools used during "finishing.
When creating new work, modern hand binders often work on commission, creating bindings for specific books or collections. Books can be bound in many different materials. Some of the more common materials for covers are "leather, decorative "paper, and "cloth (see also: "buckram). Those bindings that are made with exceptionally high craftsmanship, and that are made of particularly high-quality materials (especially full leather bindings), are known as fine or extra bindings. Also, when creating a new work, modern binders may wish to select a book that has already been printed and create what is known as a 'design binding'. "In a typical design binding, the binder selects an already printed book, disassembles it, and rebinds it in a style of fine binding—rounded and backed spine, laced-in boards, sewn headbands, decorative end sheets, leather cover etc."
Conservation and restoration are practices intended to repair damage to an existing book. While they share methods, their goals differ. The goal of conservation is to slow the book's decay and restore it to a usable state while altering its physical properties as little as possible. Conservation methods have been developed in the course of taking care of large collections of books. The term archival comes from taking care of the institutions archive of books. The goal of restoration is to return the book to a previous state as envisioned by the restorer, often imagined as the original state of the book. The methods of restoration have been developed by bookbinders with private clients mostly interested in improving their collections.
In either case, one of the modern standard for conservation and restoration is "reversibility". That is, any repair should be done in such a way that it can be undone if and when a better technique is developed in the future. Bookbinders echo the physician's creed, ""First, do no harm". While reversibility is one standard, longevity of the functioning of the book is also very important and sometimes takes precedence over reversibility especially in areas that are invisible to the reader such as the spine lining.
Books requiring restoration or conservation treatment run the gamut from the very earliest of texts to books with modern bindings that have undergone heavy usage. For each book, a course of treatment must be chosen that takes into account the book's value, whether it comes from the binding, the text, the "provenance, or some combination of the three. Many people choose to rebind books, from amateurs who restore old paperbacks on internet instructions to many professional book and paper conservators and restorationists, who often in the United States are members of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
Many times, books that need to be restored are hundreds of years old, and the handling of the pages and binding has to be undertaken with great care and a delicate hand. The archival process of restoration and conservation can extend a book's life for many decades and is necessary to preserve books that sometimes are limited to a small handful of remaining copies worldwide.
Typically, the first step in saving and preserving a book is its deconstruction. The text pages need to be separated from the covers and, only if necessary, the stitching removed. This is done as delicately as possible. All page restoration is done at this point, be it the removal of "foxing, ink stains, page tears, etc. Various techniques are employed to repair the various types of page damage that might have occurred during the life of the book.
The preparation of the "foundations" of the book could mean the difference between a beautiful work of art and a useless stack of paper and leather.
The sections are then hand-sewn in the style of its period, back into book form, or the original sewing is strengthened with new lining on the text-spine. New hinges must be accounted for in either case both with text-spine lining and some sort of end-sheet restoration.
The next step is the restoration of the book cover; This can be as complicated as completely re-creating a period binding to match the original using whatever is appropriate for that time it was originally created. Sometimes this means a new full leather binding with vegetable tanned leather, dyed with "natural dyes, and "hand-marbled papers may be used for the sides or end-sheets. Finally the cover is hand-tooled in gold leaf. The design of the book cover involves such hand-tooling, where an extremely thin layer of gold is applied to the cover. Such designs can be lettering, symbols, or floral designs, depending on the nature of any particular project.
Sometimes the restoration of the cover is a matter of surgically strengthening the original cover by lifting the original materials and applying new materials for strength. This is perhaps a more common method for covers made with book-cloth although leather books can be approached this way as well. Materials such as Japanese tissues of various weights may be used. Colors may be matched using acrylic paints or simple colored pencils.
It is harder to restore leather books typically because of the fragility of the materials.
Most of the following terms apply only with respect to American practices:
Though books are sold as hardcover or paperback, the actual binding of the pages is important to durability. Most paperbacks and some hard cover books have a "perfect binding". The pages are aligned or cut together and glued. A strong and flexible layer, which may or may not be the glue itself, holds the book together. In the case of a paperback, the visible portion of the spine is part of this flexible layer.
In languages written from left to right, such as English, books are bound on the left side of the cover; looking from on top, the pages increase counter-clockwise. In right-to-left languages, books are bound on the right. In both cases, this is so the end of a page coincides with where it is turned. Many translations of "Japanese comic books retain the binding on the right, which allows the art, laid out to be read right-to-left, to be published without mirror-imaging it.
In China (only areas using Traditional Chinese), Japan, and Taiwan, literary books are written top-to-bottom, right-to-left, and thus are bound on the right, while text books are written left-to-right, top-to-bottom, and thus are bound on the left. In mainland China the direction of writing and binding for all books was changed to be like left to right languages in the mid-20th century.
Early books did not have "titles on their spines; rather they were shelved flat with their spines inward—as is still common in Republic of South Africa["according to whom?]—and titles written with ink along their fore edges. Modern books display their titles on their spines.
In languages with Chinese-influenced writing systems, the title is written top-to-bottom, as is the language in general. In languages written horizontally, conventions differ about the direction in which the title on the spine is rotated:
In most cases, questions related to book-binding did not figure into the discussions between authors and publishers about the formal aspects of editions of their works, because individual purchasers generally made separate arrangements with either the publisher or a bookbinder to have printed sheets bound according to their wishes and their budget.
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