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Re: [BKARTS] request for suggestions on book making books or journals-Adhesive binding

Some people might think that my recent sarcastic and angry remarks aimed at
Edward Stansell were not justified on this forum. Shouldn't we all be
allowed to have our opinions about bookbinding and state them freely on this
forum but in a friendly way? Edward Stansell just may have a different
opinion than I do. How can anyone prove who is right or wrong and who cares?

Imagine that instead of exchanging messages on the Internet we were
attending a conference about public and private schools. Several speakers
mentioned that there were totally practical ways of improving the public
school system and suggested ways of doing this. They pointed out that this
was important because after all a vast majority of children went to public
schools. Then a prominent speaker got up and told the audience not to really
listen to the last speakers. Public schools would never be as good as
private schools and that no effort should be spent making public schools
better. In my opinion that prominent speaker would be doing the public a
disservice. This would not be just personal opinion. That prominent speaker
is actively "proselytizing" people to think their way when that thinking is
not in the public good. Yes I would actively speak out against that person
and rake them over the coals!

Sara asked for information on bookbinding. I suggested that she include
references to how to make adhesive bindings too. Edward shot back with
comments alluding to adhesive bindings not being very good quality: "To my
way of thinking, adhesive bindings should be limited to paperbacks, which
are by their nature ephemeral" (ending in a short time). Reading in-between
the lines, Edward was suggesting that Sara not really pay any attention to
my own suggestion that she include references on adhesive binding for people
making their own hopefully somewhat durable books. This was because adhesive
binding was not really very good quality and resulted in bindings falling
apart in no time at all.

I am not against sewn bindings. While I think the action of a high quality
adhesive binding is by it's very nature better than a sewn binding, I know
that it doesn't take as much knowledge of bookbinding details and materials
to make a good sewn binding. Also sewn bindings can last for a considerable
length of time and the lifespan of adhesives (beyond 100 years) can't be
totally proven at this point . But I don't think we as a society are going
back to all sewn bindings. The majority of books in the future are more than
likely going to be made by adhesive binding. Cheaply made adhesive bound
books are a real dilemma in our society. They don't last and we will be
losing a lot of good information to the junk heap. If Edward had his way,
these majority of books should stay with their cheap non durable bindings
that fall apart in no time. That is where I am most willing to fight against
the thinking of Edward Stansell. Adhesive binding can be of a quality which
in many ways is on par with a sewn binding. If most books are going to be
adhesive bound and it is possible that they be better bound, then why not
also work in this direction?

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

-----Original Message-----

Your sarcasm is unnecessary and not becoming this forum. However, we all
our own style.

I will try to deal with your problems by the number:

1. Of course, every adhesive binding is not "perfect binding". But, for the
most part, that term has become the name for adhesive bindings. Witness the
name band-aid. That is a trade-mark but that doeasn't stop everybody from
using it generically. Another example is aspirin. It too was once a trade

2.  This is true.

3.  True.

4.  This is also true but the "cheap thin paper"  reduces the chance of

5. I have no problem with adhesive bindings in paperbacks. It is a good way
to keep prices down.

6. Having books that have been sewn, fall apart, doesn't prove the case for
adhesive binding.  A poor sewing job is just that! The hole size is
irrelevant. Even it were not; that would be a sign that the bookbinder was
careless. The thread was of poor quality, possibly rotted.  I suspect that
you are not, yourself, a bookbinder. I have never heard a bookbinder refer
the tread as "string".

7. Pages tearing out by any method says nothing about the quality of the
binding. My answer to this would be the same if the result of the test had
been the opposite.

8. I dare say that no publisher would tell you that they had a high rate of
disintegration in their books. Tobacco companies will tell you that smoking
is good for you.

9. Again adhesive binding in paperbacks is desirable. I have produced many,
myself.  My concern is the use of adhesive binding in what is supposed to be
a permanent binding. You cannot deny that traditional, sewn bindings have a
longer and better track record than modern adhesive bindings.

I would not consider bookbinders to be adhesive haters. We would be in a
without them.  Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun.

If 98% of new books are adhesive bound, that would indicate that many
expensive and important books are as you would say, cheaply bound. I have
found this to indeed be the case. When an art book, carrying the publishers
price of $125.00 falls apart on its first opening, I think the percentage of
adhesive bound books should be lower. Bookbinders by their nature have the
philosophy that a book should last as long as possible. Disposable books are
counter to bookbinder our temperament. We view paperbacks as a necessary
something to be tolerated but not liked.

Since we are advertising websites, mine is <A

In parting I must say that much scientific thought has been proven false by


Edward Stansell, Master Bookbinder

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