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Re: [BKARTS] Layflat binding looks broken?-Layflat vs Perfect bound

Hi Katy:

I can see why you are upset at moving away from a layflat binding to perfect
binding. Many of us refer to books bound with perfect binding as mouse trap
books. They are so hard to read. They are really an abomination of a book to
read. But people somehow are used to reading them and consider them the
standard to follow. They hold their shape well on the shelf. They look nice
and pretty with that perfect squared off shape. There are so many versions,
different materials used, and qualities of construction of both layflat
bindings and perfect binding. As well books are handled in so many different

I would be very interested in hearing about what information your company
collected on this decision.

Here are some possibilities:
   1. Perfect binding is usually cheaper than layflat. Could that have
affected the decision?
   2. Otabind is not as strong as double-fan binding which is used for
library rebinding and some high quality textbooks.
   3. Even though Otabind is not as strong as double-fan, it is claimed to
be durable for school use by many experts.
   4. Otabind is not suitable for binding glossy pages. Webcom does not bind
glossy pages with Otabind. Most textbooks are going to full color and glossy
   5. Perfect binding with a stiff spine can live with glossy pages better
than layflat.
   6. Otabind produces a hollow back. The cardboard cover not being glued to
the book block is vulnerable to ripping especially on thick books. Hard
cover books also generally have a hollow back and are often bound with paper
especially on textbooks but the cover paper is generally laminated to
plastic and folded over on the edge and so is a bit stronger in my opinion.
   7. The modern high volume polyurethane adhesive perfect bound book is
actually amazingly tough. I have gone to my local public library and looked
at the popular paperbacks in the racks. The spine is completely creased as
people have forced the books open wide while reading. Plastic lamination can
often keep the shredding paper cover from pulling apart. Older paperbacks
glued with stiffer hot melt adhesive would have fallen apart long ago. The
spines look ugly with age, but the librarians claim these modern paperbacks
stand up. But many low volume paper back books still use stiff holt melt
glue and don't stand up if used this way.
   8. The stiff spine of the perfect bound book keeps it's shape. A thick
layflat book will often tilt with age and look weak and floppy.
   9. Most people can't believe that an adhesive bound layflat book can stay
together when it opens flat.
   10. When a layflat book opens wide, the edge of the paper is visible, and
any defects or the notching are noticeable. The defects and rough edges are
hidden in a stiff perfect bound book.
   11. The fact that a layflat book opens wide, makes users want to open it
even farther. The book is doubled back on itself and used like a coil
binding. Hard cover books never have to go through this abuse because the
cover won't let the reader double back the book.

   1. My latest "Corel Ventura 10" manual. Perfect bound with glossy pages
even uses the super tough polyurethane adhesive. The spine is quite flexible
and it seemed natural for force it open. Some of the pages partly let go on
the first day already.
   2. Autodesk "3D Studio" layflat with polyurethane binding and non glossy
pages. Pages still intact over years. The books is thick and tilts over a
lot. When the book is opened, the cover in the spine area folds in different
weird ways. The cover near the spine has creased in all different places and
looks poor.
   3. My "Patent It Yourself" perfect bound book using stiff hot melt
adhesive and spine reinforcement making it impossible to crease the spine is
in fine shape after many years but is a real pain to read.

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

-----Original Message-----
I was wondering what folks thought of something that is happening at my day
job. I work for a college textbook publisher, and right now we are sending
books to press that are due in bookstores in July/August. The powers-that-be
decided that now was the perfect time to tell manufacturing and production
(where I am) that all books that were scheduled to be printed layflat
(originally patented under the name Otabind) had to be perfect-bound
instead, and that this was due to the marketplace perception that layflat
books somehow had broken and/or more fragile spines (although of course when
one uses the book, you can see the pages don't fall out). I'm not upset that
were are changing orders that are already at the printer, but I am very
upset that we are spending scarce money because of a false perception. Then
my husband pointed out that it might not be false. So, does anyone here know
if layflat books are more fragile at the spine than perfect-bound? We are
printing at Webcom in Toronto, if that is any help. Many thanks.


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