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Re: Publishers' Page of Shame



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This has been going on for some time.  Perhaps it is getting worse.

For years I have been repairing new books that are in need of help within a
few weeks of leaving the bookshop shelves.  It may be a problem of the
adhesives, of a cheap and weak lining (or no lining at all) on a heavy
textblock, or perhaps of a cheap printed PAPER covered case, which wears
through at the shoulder and headcaps very quickly.  The sewing thread (if it
is indeed sewn! and these are rare) will be very thin filament.  Most often
the block is glued, there is almost no gutter, the paper might be heavy and
glossy.  I suppose it is mostly a problem of the bottom line...cut costs, make
it cheaper without losing the eye appeal, and sell it fast.  Add to that the
rise of warehouse bookstores, which stock only what is selling rapidly and
well, and you have a recipe for cheap-cheap.

Part of the problem might be the tax revision of some 15-20 years ago.  Book
publishers lost the tax advantage of carrying a print run through more than
one year.  I'm foggy now on the specifics, but it was a major change for the
industry at the time.  As I recall, it meant that titles would go o/p much
quicker as there was little advantage to holding inventory.  Now we can see it
as a boon for the remainder vendors, but not so good for the rest of us.

In addition, I believe more publishers are going to go to print-on-demand.
Order a book, it's printed out and bound for you.  No inventory, and nothing
ever goes out of print.  Probably also a cheap, cheaper, and cheapest binding,
as well.

There is not much connection between the price of the book and the quality of
the binding, either.

Carol
Eugene, OR
==============

anastasia weigle wrote:
>
 We librarians are finding that the
> binds on particular books just do not last very long. I just recently sent back a book to our distributor because it fell apart after three circulations. It was a reinforced
> binding, not to be confused with a library binding. A reinforced binding basically has the signatures stitched together, but the binding thread is thin and doesn't last very long.
> I am a bookbinder by night and librarian by day. I repair all our books at my library and am shocked as the poor quality of glue and binding standards.  I guess our biggest
> complaint (and concern) is that books are costing us more yes are made poorly.
>
> The list was created to see if there was a pattern to these poorly bound books. For example, if most of the books came from Simon & Schuster or if a particular title was bound
> badly. We figured if that was the case, we could contact the publishers with our concerns. But it seems that the problem comes from a number of publishers.
>
> Anastasia S. Weigle
> Director
> Warren Memorial Library
> 479 Main Street
> Westbrook, ME  04092
> aweigle@warren.lib.me.us
>

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