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[BKARTS] bookmaking comercially

Most of us have seen videos detailing the process of making and binding books, but I've never seen one showing how books are produced commercially. An excellent program tonight on the science channel was devoted to showing the process. As you might imagine, there is no artistry involved: all the decisions are made with reference to the bottom line. Essentially, there are only two methods used to bind books commercially: the perfect binding, and the stapled binding. Even though the book is assembled using signatures, for both types of bindings the signatures are trimmed along the spine. To improve the adhesion of the spine to its backing, for the perfect binding method the spine is simply scored. Sewing is not considered economical. Though claims are made for the durability of the stapled bindings, I have seen books only a few years old where the staples have begun to rust.
Add to this the fact that the paper used is crap (mechanically pulped paper using fast grown lumber), and you have a product that in a short time will be a librarian's nightmare.
Anyway, it was an engrossing presentation. It should make us all proud of our craft.

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This page last changed: May 19, 2009