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- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: (Im)perfect binding
- From: Betty Storz <storz@MCN.ORG>
- Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:45:41 -0700
- Message-Id: <199804232147.OAA35462@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: On the web at http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
Double fanning works well to repair many Perfect-bound paperback books,
especially those under 1 =BC" thick.
I use a combination of techniques for repairing glued or Perfect-bound
paperbacks or hard-cover books gleaned from several books, among them
Kafka's How to Clothbind a Paperback Book; Banister's Bookbinding as a
Handcraft (chapter 13); and Laura Young's Bookbinding & Conservation by
Hand, pages 94-96. None of these discuss the double fanning method of
gluing the back, which, I believe, is the best way of doing the job,
providing the book is not much more than an inch or so thick. It uses a
minimum of the gutter, usually not very wide in a paperback.
Unfortunately, as has been pointed out, it won't work for coated or brittle
I find myself using the side-sewing method most often for books under =BE"
thick, whipstitching, or overcasting, thicker books. I always had a devil
of a time whipstitching by the normal method, needle coming from underneath
between the sections. Then I found instructions in a long out-of-print
book, "The Binding of Books," by Perry and Baab, that show the needle
being inserted from the top, going down in to two sections and out between
them. It's much easier.
These sewing methods may be used with coated, soft, or brittle paper, and,
if the holes are drilled as closely as possible to the spine edge, not much
of the gutter is lost and the books open quite well. Unfortunately, many
beautifully illustrated books on coated paper have 2-page spreads or
illustrations that bleed off the edge into the spine; there is no gutter
space. Then one has to live with losing a bit of the picture.
The situation is only going to get worse. Publishers, in order to make
books affordable, are going to be doing more glued bindings. Someone at
Random House told me that many binderies are getting rid of their sewing
But did you know that certain publishers would replace a glued book that
comes apart? Two people I know complained to National Geographic about
their beautiful China books and, since they were members and had bought the
book from the Society, replacements were sent to them. They have also
Moody Bible Press also replaces any book they print and bind. =20
My apologies for being so long-winded.