Bookbinding is a practice that dates back many centuries before our time. Its history is fascinating, considering how much has changed since the Egyptians learned to use Coptic binding to keep their manuscript safe and together. However, there are many ways to get a book bound these days.
We’ll take you back to where it all began and let you in on some exciting history about how bookbinding started. You’ll also get a glance at what bookbinding involves today. This article is perfect for anyone that would like to know more about how book bindings are made.
What is Book Binding?
Bookbinding is putting individual pages of written or printed work together and using a cover/binder to seal them at one edge. This cover is usually made of a more rigid material than the pages within.
Some materials commonly used as a binder are leather, vinyl, paper, etc. The bookbinding process is either done with specialized machines or by hand if a book owner wants a personal book customized.
Evolution Of Book Binding
There was a time when people used scrolls and wax tablets for writing, and later on, parchments and papyrus were introduced to document important events. The people of the time stored these documents in boxes to keep them safe. When it was time to read the contents, most of them needed to be rolled out and re-rolled afterwards, which was a significant inconvenience.
A little while later, Coptic binding was introduced. This process allowed books to be bound together by stitches called codices or codex for the singular form. Subsequently, wooden covers and limp books were introduced.
By the 13th century, books were now wrapped in leather and were attached to belts and girdles. In the 15th century, the printing press was introduced, and with it came lighter book covers, replacing wooden and leather ones. Binding books with cloth materials was the next stage that followed, and by 1830 case binding had been introduced. Modern ways of bookbinding have been improved consistently from then till then.
Why Is Book Binding Important?
Can you imagine holding written or printed documents in your hand and carting them around from place to place? Keeping the pages from getting mixed up or lost will be a hassle. Bookbinders help to keep our books together and make them easy to use. However, there are other reasons why binding books is essential. Here are some of the reasons outlined below:
Protects Your Pages From External Elements
Exposing a book without cover to elements like water, dust, sunlight, and even animals will cause deterioration. The dampness will trigger mould growth, and sunlight will fade off the lettering and make the material unreadable in the long run. Books shouldn’t be exposed to animals at all, but if they are not bound, it’s easier for them to cause damage.
Protection From Tearing
Keeping your books bound will reduce their chances of tearing and getting squeezed, except if it is not handled correctly.
Easy To Use, Store, and Find
When a book is bound, it is usually correctly arranged with a guide to all its contents and labelled appropriately. This helps owners find the information they need with ease. Book owners can also easily store their books on a shelf and find them when needed because they are appropriately labelled.
Bookbinders enrich the appearance of a book depending on the material used. Plus, with recent technology, you can give book covers a lot of artistic and catchy looks.
Styles Of Book Binding?
In spiral binding, the pages that make up the book are arranged together, edge to edge, and perforated at one end. A plastic spiral spring is passed from the top spot to the last before it’s secured after all the pages are firmly in place.
For casebound hardcover books, the pages are sewn in sections and attached with glue. Finally, all the pages are glued to the binder.
Saddle Stitch Binding
Saddle stitch binding is done by stapling printed pages to the book cover with metal Staples.
The book’s pages are glued to the stiff paper cover, and afterwards, the edges are trimmed to give the length uniformity.
Holes are made on the binder and pages, and a tough thread and needle bind the pages together. However, all the stitches will show on the surface.
What is the best kind of bookbinding for books?
Case binding is reportedly the best method to use for binding your books. It is the method used to secure hardcover books. It is known to be durable and can withstand frequent use without damaging the bond unless it’s outright mishandled.
How do you preserve your books?
- Keeping your books in dry places is an easy way to preserve the binders and pages inside from exposure to moisture. However, it should not be stored where the sun will hit it directly.
- Ensure that you open books with caution to avoid breaking the binds.
- Use flat bookmarks to mark out pages and not bulky ones. Thick bookmarks will put a strain on the binder.
- Place books standing upright on the shelf. Keeping it at weird angles is not suitable for the binder or pages.
How to repair loose pages?
If your book is intact, but you have some loose pages, follow these few steps to fix it up in no time.
- Get acid-free glue, a heavy load of books, and a thin stick.
- Remove loose pages and keep them aside in the correct order.
- Apply your glue.
- Neatly put pages back in place on the glued surfaces.
- Close and allow to dry. Also, place your heavy load on the book.
Can I pay to make a binder for one book?
Yes! There are lots of bookbinding companies that will custom bind a single book to your specific taste. However, if you want to bind your book and get it on the same day, you can get in touch with The Document Centre
Bookbinding is a centuries-old art that has served different functions to people at various points. In recent times bookbinding isn’t just about protecting the prints enclosed within; it’s now a form of expression for authors and readers alike.
In this article, we hope you have gotten a better understanding of bookbinding history from when it was first introduced till date, along with several book-binding tips.