A process that gives curvature to a book's spine.
An open weave gauze cloth with stiff sizing similar to cheesecloth. Super is sometimes applied to the spine of sewn or glued book blocks to add strength to the binding, especially on very heavy, thick volumes or books with large pages.
The bound edge of a book where the pages are sewn, glued, or otherwise fastened together. Spines are usually thin and flexible, allowing the book to be easily opened. Highly decorated books have spines that have been “built up” into hubs and ornamentation.
Perfect binding (also called adhesive binding)
A pamphlet binding process using only adhesive, usually a hot-melt, to secure the pages into a wrap-around cover. Telephone books and paperbacks are typical of Perfect binding.
The thin areas of the case that fold back allowing the book to be opened and closed.
A fabric band, often decoratively colored, that is attached to the head and foot of the spine. Headbands add strength to these points of stress and also conceal any glue and thread that might have been visible after binding.
Hard bound books covered in paper or buckram, then reinforced with leather down the spine and on the corners. Most typical of courthouse record books.
Gold edging on pages of bibles and other books. Originally applied as a dust and rubbed into the paper fibers, gilt is now applied to the edges of book blocks with heat and adhesive. Similar decorations included red and green edging, done with ink, and marble edging, an obscure method of swirling several ink colors on top of a vat of hot liquid and carefully touching the book block edges to the mixture.
Section sewn (also called Smythe sewing)
Thread is sewn through the folded centers of each section of pages. Section sewn books open easily and lie a bit flatter than side sewn books.
All of the copies of a book manufactured by a single printing and binding run. “First Edition” always designates the original publication, and are more popular with collectors.