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Very grand manuscripts for liturgical rather than library use had covers in metalwork called treasure bindings , often studded with gems and incorporating ivory relief panels or enamel elements. Very few of these have survived intact, as they have been broken up for their precious materials, but a fair number of the ivory panels have survived, as they were hard to recycle; the divided panels from the Codex Aureus of Lorsch are among the most notable.

The 8th century Vienna Coronation Gospels were given a new gold relief cover in about , and the Lindau Gospels now Morgan Library , New York have their original cover from around Luxury medieval books for the library had leather covers decorated, often all over, with tooling incised lines or patterns , blind stamps , and often small metal pieces of furniture.

Medieval stamps showed animals and figures as well as the vegetal and geometric designs that would later dominate book cover decoration. Until the end of the period books were not usually stood up on shelves in the modern way. The most functional books were bound in plain white vellum over boards, and had a brief title hand-written on the spine.

Techniques for fixing gold leaf under the tooling and stamps were imported from the Islamic world in the 15th century, and thereafter the gold-tooled leather binding has remained the conventional choice for high quality bindings for collectors, though cheaper bindings that only used gold for the title on the spine, or not at all, were always more common. Although the arrival of the printed book vastly increased the number of books produced in Europe, it did not in itself change the various styles of binding used, except that vellum became much less used.

In the 8th century Arabs learned the arts of papermaking from the Chinese and were then the first to bind paper into books at the start of the Islamic Golden Age.

An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English: Volume 1

The people who worked in making books were called Warraqin or paper professionals. The Arabs made books lighter—sewn with silk and bound with leather covered paste boards, they had a flap that wrapped the book up when not in use. As paper was less reactive to humidity, the heavy boards were not needed. The production of books became a real industry and cities like Marrakech , Morocco , had a street named Kutubiyyin or book sellers, which contained more than bookshops in the 12th century.

The famous Koutoubia Mosque is named so because of its location on this street. Because the Qur'an itself was considered a sacred object, in order to beautify the book containing the holy scripture, a culture of calligraphy and lavish bookbinding developed. Bookbinding in medieval China replaced traditional Chinese writing supports such as bamboo and wooden slips , as well as silk and paper scrolls.

With the arrival from the East of rag paper manufacturing in Europe in the late Middle Ages and the use of the printing press beginning in the midth century, bookbinding began to standardize somewhat, but page sizes still varied considerably. In the early sixteenth century, the Italian printer Aldus Manutius realized that personal books would need to fit in saddle bags and thus produced books in the smaller formats of quartos one-quarter-size pages and octavos one-eighth-size pages.

With printing, the books became more accessible and were stored on their side on long shelves for the first time. Clasps were removed, and titles were added to the spine.

A Table explaining the Abbreviations made use of in this Book.

Leipzig , a prominent centre of the German book-trade, in had 20 bookshops, 15 printing establishments, 22 book-binders and three type-foundries in a population of 28, people. In the German book-distribution system of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the end-user buyers of books "generally made separate arrangements with either the publisher or a bookbinder to have printed sheets bound according to their wishes and their budget".

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The reduced cost of books facilitated cheap lightweight Bibles, made from tissue-thin oxford paper, with floppy covers, that resembled the early Arabic Qurans , enabling missionaries to take portable books with them around the world, and modern wood glues enabled the addition of paperback covers to simple glue bindings. Historical forms of binding include the following: [25].

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Some older presses could not separate the pages of a book, so readers used a paper knife to separate the outer edges of pages as a book was read. There are various commercial techniques in use today.

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  8. Today, most commercially produced books belong to one of four categories:. A hardcover , hardbound or hardback book has rigid covers and is stitched in the spine.

    Works (42)

    Looking from the top of the spine, the book can be seen to consist of a number of signatures bound together. When the book is opened in the middle of a signature, the binding threads are visible. Signatures of hardcover books are typically octavo a single sheet folded three times , though they may also be folio, quarto, or 16mo see Book size. Unusually large and heavy books are sometimes bound with wire.

    Until the midth century, covers of mass-produced books were laid with cloth, but from that period onward, most publishers adopted clothette, a kind of textured paper which vaguely resembles cloth but is easily differentiated on close inspection. Most cloth-bound books are now half-and-half covers with cloth covering only the spine. In that case, the cover has a paper overlap.

    An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English: Volume 1

    The covers of modern hardback books are made of thick cardboard. Some books that appeared in the midth century signature-bound appear in reprinted editions in glued-together editions. Copies of such books stitched together in their original format are often difficult to find, and are much sought after for both aesthetic and practical reasons. A variation of the hardcover which is more durable is the calf-binding, where the cover is either half or fully clad in leather , usually from a calf. This is also called full-bound or, simply, leather bound. Library binding refers to the hardcover binding of books intended for the rigors of library use and are largely serials and paperback publications.

    Though many publishers have started to provide "library binding" editions, many libraries elect to purchase paperbacks and have them rebound in hard covers for longer life. Modern bookbinding by hand can be seen as two closely allied fields: the creation of new bindings, and the repair of existing bindings. Bookbinders are often active in both fields.

    Bookbinders can learn the craft through apprenticeship ; by attending specialized trade schools; [30] by taking classes in the course of university studies, or by a combination of those methods. Some European countries offer a Master Bookbinder certification, though no such certification exists in the United States. MFA programs that specialize in the 'Book Arts' hand paper-making, printmaking and bookbinding are available through certain colleges and universities. Hand bookbinders create new bindings that run the gamut from historical book structures made with traditional materials to modern structures made with 21st-century materials, and from basic cloth-case bindings to valuable full-leather fine bindings.

    Repairs to existing books also encompass a broad range of techniques, from minimally invasive conservation of a historic book to the full restoration and rebinding of a text. Though almost any existing book can be repaired to some extent, only books that were originally sewn can be rebound by resewing. Repairs or restorations are often done to emulate the style of the original binding.

    For new works, some publishers print unbound manuscripts which a binder can collate and bind, but often an existing commercially bound book is pulled , or taken apart, in order to be given a new binding. Once the textblock of the book has been pulled, it can be rebound in almost any structure; a modern suspense novel, for instance, could be rebound to look like a 16th-century manuscript. Bookbinders may bind several copies of the same text, giving each copy a unique appearance.

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    Hand bookbinders use a variety of specialized hand tools, the most emblematic of which is the bonefolder , a flat, tapered, polished piece of bone used to crease paper and apply pressure. When creating new work, modern hand binders often work on commission, creating bindings for specific books or collections. Books can be bound in many different materials. Some of the more common materials for covers are leather , decorative paper , and cloth see also: buckram.

    Those bindings that are made with exceptionally high craftsmanship, and that are made of particularly high-quality materials especially full leather bindings , are known as fine or extra bindings. Also, when creating a new work, modern binders may wish to select a book that has already been printed and create what is known as a 'design binding'.

    Conservation and restoration are practices intended to repair damage to an existing book. While they share methods, their goals differ. The goal of conservation is to slow the book's decay and restore it to a usable state while altering its physical properties as little as possible. Conservation methods have been developed in the course of taking care of large collections of books. The term archival comes from taking care of the institutions archive of books.

    The goal of restoration is to return the book to a previous state as envisioned by the restorer, often imagined as the original state of the book. The methods of restoration have been developed by bookbinders with private clients mostly interested in improving their collections. In either case, one of the modern standard for conservation and restoration is "reversibility". That is, any repair should be done in such a way that it can be undone if and when a better technique is developed in the future.

    Bookbinders echo the physician's creed, " First, do no harm ". While reversibility is one standard, longevity of the functioning of the book is also very important and sometimes takes precedence over reversibility especially in areas that are invisible to the reader such as the spine lining.

    Books requiring restoration or conservation treatment run the gamut from the very earliest of texts to books with modern bindings that have undergone heavy usage.