There’s a rumor being spread by one of our competitors that Bound To Stay Bound has started gluing all of their books and will throw our sewing machines in the junk pile. Presumably, according to the tales we’ve heard, it’s less expensive to glue a book than it is to sew a book and we’re trying to reduce our costs by cutting our quality. Wrong. The least expensive method of rebinding or prebinding a book is side stitching, also known as side sewing. Side stitching is the preferred method of sewing books and since our primary market is the elementary and middle school library the vast majority of the books we sell are thin enough to be sewn.
For books that are too thick to be sewn, our first choice in attaching pages is oversewing. Oversewing is a process of taking page sections about the thickness of a nickel and sewing them on top of one another. Once five sections have been sewn together each additional section is sewn to the five sections below resulting in a sewn book that is virtually impossible destroy.
We are, however, facing a situation where publishers are using up more and more of the page with text and illustrations and leaving us with much narrower margins to work with. When we receive titles with narrow inner margins or illustrations that run from one page to another, such as the Eyewitness Books, we are forced to use an adhesive binding to preserve as much of the page as possible. We use two methods of adhesive binding; the first is called PUR (Polyurethane Reactive adhesive), a very powerful bonding agent that matches closely the strength of side stitching and oversewing. The second method is double-fanned adhesive binding where a thin line of adhesive is applied to both sides of each page along the binding edge then covered with a flexible cloth cover that holds the pages in place. Using these two methods preserves much of the inner margin and allows the book to open easily and lay flat.
Here are the actual percentages of how we bind books in our inventory:
As you can see we’re not quite ready to throw away our sewing machines, so the next time someone suggests that we are, please correct them.