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[BKARTS] Cloth Softcover Binding?

I am still experimenting with different cover materials and binding styles
for my limited run softcover scientific books. I've tried all kinds of
binding styles and each have problems. My conclusion is that all softcover
bindings are a compromise of durability, so which compromises are the best?

This summer I was in two museums and saw antique public school textbooks
(also called readers or primers) that were cloth covered but in a softcover
or "paperback" style. I have tried searching the Internet to find
information on this type of binding with little luck. Can't find any more
examples of these books in any of the local libraries. I have on my
bookshelf a vinyl clad sewn softcover book where the vinyl is glued to the
folded end sheets but not to the spine. Is this the same as the still
available sewn soft cover binding or in this case is the cover glued to the
spine? Were most cloth covered antique softcover books made in this way.

My tests show that most paper has pretty lousy properties for a book cover
but is cheap and can be easily printed on. It is especially weak in the Z
direction (thickness). Plastic lamination makes paper stronger but now the
strong plastic layer rips off the paper as the paper is weak in the Z
direction (delamination). Cloth has wonderful properties as may of you know
but I guess it too must be backed by paper. Many publishers are now offering
paperback books in a fake cloth look (embossed). Also the retro look is in.
Would a cloth covered softcover book be practical for limited production of
a few a few thousand per year? I'm going to be binding them myself using
double fan adhesive binding equipment.

Ben Wiens...applied energy scientist
Ben Wiens Energy Science Inc.
8-1200 Brunette Ave. Coquitlam BC Canada V3K1G3
E-mail: ben@benwiens.com
Energy Website: http://www.benwiens.com
Read my popular web-booklet "The Future of Fuel Cells"

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