|Intro - Why? - Perfect - Japanese side stitch - Saddle stitch - Long stitch - Equipment - Materials|
Why would anyone want to bind their own books? Here are a few answers to that question, though this list is by no means exhaustive.
With the right choice of binding techniques and materials, books can survive hundreds of years of gentle use. Even mediocre books outlive most electronic storage media: magnetic tapes and disks lose their magnetization, and optical media such as CDs and DVDs are prone to oxidation of the metallic layer and degradation of any heat-sensitive dye. The format of the printed word is immune to trends in editing software and advances in compression protocols. Creating printed copies can preserve digital information for the long term.
Existing printed matter can also be preserved and made more usable by proper bookbinding techniques. If a book is damaged, replacing the binding can be a relatively straightforward process. Brittle, decayed paper can be replaced entirely, using a photocopier and some careful planning ; the copied book can then be placed in a more durable, permanent binding.
Books can be works of visual art in their own right, regardless of their content. Hopefully, the methods in this book will introduce more artists to this practical and beautiful medium. Also, making one's own sketchbook, journal, photo album, or notebook often serves as an inspiration to capture other forms of expression with more energy and personality.
Information is easy to find on the internet, but most people find that e-books, integrated circuit spec sheets , professional journal articles, and many other materials are easier to use if they are printed out and bound together. While stapling the top corner may be appropriate for thin documents that will be kept in a file folder and read only a few times, a little extra effort produces a volume that goes comfortably from bookshelf to backpack, and can be leafed through several times a day without worrying that the outside pages will fall off.