I am often asked to rebind favourite stories into volumes worthy of inheritance. Perhaps as a birth gift, a wedding gift, or any number of other wonderfully creative motivations. It is a part of my job that I particularly love, as it is about preparing for the future and showing your family how much stories and books mean to you. I have also heard people say, “oh, my lot would never look after it”, but you’d be surprised at how careful folks become when it is obvious you love the book, have made a fuss over it with a new binding and box, and put it in your will!
An example of a good candidate for classic rebinding: Folded, sewn sections, nice paper and good drape. Don’t be fooled by the soft paper cover – it will be replaced and everything else is good to go.
You can choose a small private press and ask for full folded folios to be printed, or go with a publisher/printer who ‘gets it’, like the Folio Society. I use a LOT of books from the Folio Society stables. If you go for mainstream printers, consider these points:
1. Sewn, folded sections, not a glued slab of single pages.
2. Good quality paper and printing; nice to the touch, and not too glossy or gritty.
Too glossy, and you just know it’s full of plasticizers and other gunk that doesn’t make for a great heirloom. Too gritty and the paper will wear quickly and acidify – you know, like the paperbacks that look brown only a few years after manufacture. Be aware that texture is okay – that’s a different thing, and can enhance the tactile nature of a book. I’m talking gritty, dark and cheaparse to the touch
3. Nice ‘drape’ of pages when the book is opened.
Now, please do excuse the quality and low number of example pictures, as I was having a hard time locating examples of bad/cheapo bindings at our place (fancy that!).
So, armed with that knowledge, I’d like to say one more thing..
[WARNING: JUST ABOUT TO GET ON MY SOAPBOX]
BUY WELL MADE BOOKS OR GO DIGITAL!!
~ thank you ~