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Interacting with PrintElements of Reading in the Era of Print Saturation$
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The Multigraph Collective

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226469140

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226469287.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 08 December 2019



(p.49) 3 Binding
Interacting with Print
The Multigraph Collective
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses binding—the act of folding printed sheets into folios or quartos or octavos or other formats, and then attaching those folded sheets to one another to create a book. Binding is thus a deliberate act that creates meaning through the presentation and collation of the leaves it encloses. For most of the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries, binding began with a stack of folded sheets. Many books could be purchased only stitched, or on the Continent still in sheets. A binding was usually completed when boards for the front and back covers were sewn to the bands, and then covered along with the spine with leather or paper. The covers and spine might then be decorated with a design comprising lettering and little tool marks, with gold leaf attached to some or all of that design. As this suggests, bindings available for any given edition were various and often came at multiple price points depending on decoration or type of leather. Binding was thus also a realm of consumer choice.

Keywords:   binding, folded sheets, bindings, consumer choice, front covers, back covers, spine

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