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[BKARTS] Off List Replies and Bruce Levy Lay flat Binding

 Stone Eye - An Exhibition of the Midwest Chapter, Guild of Book Workers
  For information about the exhibition, and to order your catalog, see

Hi everyone:

I too am extremely interested in various lay flat bindings. I would
appreciate anyone sharing information on this topic both historical and
modern. More and more people seem to be wanting a lay flat binding. I think
this is largely because hardcover lay flat type bindings have almost
disappeared and people are getting frustrated with typical hard to open
books that have taken their place. About the Bruce Levy lay flat bindings.
Would it be stepping on anyone's toes by mentioning roughly how this lay
flat binding is made or at least what class it is in? I have already
researched many different styles of lay flat binding for my own book
production but they are not all to my liking. There also seems to be some
disagreement on the term lay flat. I use it for any binding which allows the
book block "spine" to curve substantially when the book is opened with
little or no damage to the book. For example here are some of the types of
lay flat binding:

Mechanical...using holes in pages like Wire-O or coil
Flexible glue...usually single sheets glued at edges
Sewn...signatures sewn with thread

Openback hardcover...typical quality hardcover with sewn or flexible glue
Openback softcover...like Otabind and RepKover or cloth and plastic cover
Tightback hardcover...like old style leather bindings glued to book block
Tightback softcover...like tape binding

I noticed on this list server that to prevent everyone getting a large
amount of e-mail, people mostly people reply off list to questions. On
another list server I am on, people complained about excessive e-mail and
now replies are automatically routed only to the person asking the question.
That list server has gotten pretty useless for me, because I just see a lot
of e-mail with questions, and no answers. It is only useful for the odd
announcement e-mail. Too bad the Book Arts List Server is not a regular
newsgroup system. In this case people make a point of replying only to the
newsgroup unless the reply is very personal. In a newsgroup you only
download the messages that you want to see details of after reading the
subject header. I learn a lot by quickly scanning through thousands of

I personally would like to see the answers to most of questions raised on
this list server. Is this not what others want? Don't get me wrong, I really
appreciate when people reply to my questions on or off list, but I just also
want to see the other answers too.

There seems to be a trend on this list server to point someone in the
direction of a publication to buy without mentioning any details of what is
in them. If you live in the United States, this might be fine, but is not so
nice for people living outside. A publication like the US$23 one which
describes the K118 structure sometimes ends up being US$5-10 more for
shipping outside the US, brokerage fees as high as US$20 if you can't
specify a shipper, taxes, and fees for collecting the taxes, added to the
bill. Added to this the weakness of other currencies, this ends up making
for a book that would be equivalent to people in the USA paying up to
several times more for the same thing. So some of us would not want to buy
something from abroad without knowing pretty much if the subject matter was
very worthwhile to us. I also am mentioning this because such border issues
are a major cause of reduced book commerce and information sharing in the
world I believe. Buying books and other goods through Amazon.com for example
is different because Amazon.com is very large and so can ship their goods
enmass through the Canadian border and certain other borders and then ship
within that country.

Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
E-mail: ben@benwiens.com
Energy Website: www.benwiens.com

-----Original Message-----
I recently asked about a book structure that would open flat and got, among
others, a response from Mr. Levy on his K118 structure. He pointed me to his
contribution to "Conservation and Preservation of Humanities Research
Collections" (ISBN #0-87959-109) wherein he describes the K118 structure.
should be able to get this publication, as did I, from the Harry Ransom
Humantites Research Center, 512-471-8944. The cost for the publication was
including priority shipping. I called them on Tuesday and got the item on

The article is descriptive but not tutorial. So if you are inexperienced at
bookbinding as am I you might need additional help in implementing this
structure. I e-mailed Mr. Levy off list asking for addition information on
to implement this structure and he was unwilling to provide such assistance
because he was concerned with the inappropriate use of his intellectual

If you find any implementation information on this structure I would
it if you would be willing to share such.

Rober Huber

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