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Re: [BKARTS] Cloth or Paper Covers
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: [BKARTS] Cloth or Paper Covers
- From: Ben Wiens <ben@BENWIENS.COM>
- Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 12:09:58 -0700
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AGING AND WEAR OF BOOKS
Bill, as you mentioned, one can do laboratory testing of books and one can
look at actual aging books. Which is best? I think both have their place.
However you are right. Certain kinds of wear and aging are hard to simulate
with a machine or test. I've read about machines that tumble books in a
device that is like a clothes dryer. It's not completely the same as
handling the book.
MY OBSERVATIONS OF AGING AND WEAR OF BOOKS
I've kept an generalized paper record of the wear and aging in libraries and
museums. I've kept a detailed record of my laboratory wear tests on several
different types of books I've made. I have a tiny library of books which
happen to be made in many different binding styles and cover about 100 yrs
of publication which are my own more permanent record I can refer to.
VARIABLES OF AGING AND WEAR OF BOOKS
One of the reasons I didn't keep a detailed log of my observations of books
in libraries and museums was because there are so many variables in the
materials, methods of making, different handling of books, that to make the
observation completely valid would be a lot of work.
HOW ACCURATE OF BOOK TESTS DO WE NEED?
In my book observations, I've come across certain basic reasons why
commercial books fail. They shout at you over a time of observation.
Japanese and certain other automobiles are made to last. Computer programs
are made to crash. The Internet is made to be infected. Most books are made
to just look good on the bookstore shelf. There are lot's of things that
could be done to make books wear and last better and be easier to read but
even the most basic ideas just aren't used. Or might I add have been lost
over time. But that's because there is a difference of opinion among book
people as to how strong and long lasting a book should be. Some people think
that if the book lasts one reading that is good enough. Some book people
think books should only be opened a crack. If the book is opened it fully
deserves to fail they think. My opinion is that a book should be able to
live through years of tumbling around and misuse by a variety of people like
a pair of good shoes.
Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
8-1200 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam BC V3K1G3 Canada
Energy Website: http://www.benwiens.com
< I've examined thousands of production books of all types in libraries and
museums to get a feel for what lasts. Here is what I found:
Over the years, I have suggested to colleagues that while laboratory
and accelerated aging of bookbinding materials, book structures and
treatments are helpful to our decision making, it would be helpful/useful to
on that research with an examination of books and other items that have
sustained normal wear and tear, and natural aging. Obviously, one has no
the number of times an item has been handled and to what extent, but the
examination of large quantities should give some sense of how well things
withstand the test of time.
I am not going to question or challenge your findings, but simply have a
question about how you came to the conclusions:
Have you kept a tally or record of the books that you have examined, or is
simply a feeling, a mental tally, of the books that have been examined? --
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