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Re: Cheap book with perfect (not) binding



Ed,

The book can be reglued, but not easily and not well without the right
equipment.  I see this kind of repair pretty regularly, and I bought a special
press through Gaylord (made by Pete Jermann) that I like very, very well.  It's
not economical to buy this press for one book, however.

1500 pages is much too thick for adhesive binding, of course, and I usually
recommend dividing the volume down to reduce the weight, as well as to narrow
the backbone to be reglued.

Alternatively, you can side-sew.  Again the textblock should be divided into
volumes of an inch or less in thickness in order to facilitate the
drilling/sewing and to make the book easier to use.  Side-sewing, like machine
oversewing, prevents the book from opening flat and remaining open in use.
There are techniques to make the drilling easier: sandwich the pages between
waste binders board, square up and brush a thin veneer of pva over the spine
edge.  Dry.  Mark the drilling margin (I use 3/16-inch) on the board.  Drill
and remove the sheets of board.  Sew with a running stitch in a figure-8
pattern.  This technique uses up about 1/4-inch of gutter.  It makes a tight
and durable book.

You can try returning the book to the store and also sending a letter of
complaint to the publisher.  Our US bookpublishing industry has moved almost
entirely to glue-binding, as well as to paper covers even on hardbacks.  It's
really really sad.  If publishers got more loud consumer objection to perfect
binding, they might use it less for important items.  I estimated repair on a
4-inch thick comprehensive dictionary just last week--adhesive bound with a
paper-covered case.  Not particularly old.  Repairing the textblock of this
9x12 behemoth will not be fun.

Hope this helps.

Carol Pratt
Eugene, OR

===========

Ed Greenman wrote:

> I have a textbook for a class that is a massive (1500 pages!) paperback
> which is "perfect bound."  Naturally, although I tried to treat the darned
> thing with excessive care, the spine cracked within two weeks, making the
> book less pleasant to read than a book ought to be.
>
> It has occurred to me that I might be able to repair it by attaching some
> fairly stiff material to the spine, but I wonder if this is really likely to
> work.  I have made some books, but I have never repaired one of these
> imperfectly bound monsters.  I have to spend a lot of time with this book
> over the next five to six months, so a fix would be nice.  Has anyone had
> any experience they can share with me with repairs of this sort?  Am I
> wasting my time on this, or is it something that is likely to succeed?
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
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             ***********************************************
            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>
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