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The Evolution of Bookbinding

Without bookbinding, we probably wouldn’t have any books as we know them today.

Without bookbinding, we probably wouldn’t have any books as we know them today. The process of bookbinding has been developing ever since humans started assembling books. Here is a look at how books have been bound differently as times change and technology improves.

The Invention of Books

It took many centuries for the notion of “books” to come about; if you are familiar with how language has changed over time, then you know how cave paintings served as the first rudimentary books. Humans used what they could to record their experiences and spread knowledge. So, long before the written word was even though of, the oral tradition was essential. The first books were primarily used for religious purposes. In this context, they were called “codices,” or manuscripts. The first pages were made of vellum or treated sheepskin. Although papyrus scrolls and clay tablets had been the first writing media, they were fragile and hard to read.  Vellum was easier to work with as well; monks and other writers could write on both sides of a page, setting the template for the pages that we take for granted today.

The Arrival of Printing

The printing press, invented by Johannes Gutenberg, represented a massive breakthrough in the development of books and the evolution of bookbinding. The printing press allowed for the creation of books that didn’t take as long to copy and bind. Books spread out to the general public since they no longer had to be restricted to churches and monasteries for safekeeping.

The Development of Technology

The development of technology during the Industrial Revolution brought about an explosion of books. Paper became less expensive, which meant more books could be made than ever before, which in turn led to more demand for bookbinding. The first Smyth binding machines appeared in 1856, but these machines weren’t patented until 1868. It took another twelve years for the Smyth Manufacturing Company to start turning them out in droves.

The Rise of Perfect Binding

Perfecting binding for paperback books began in 1895, but it didn’t take off until the 1930s, and the rest is history.

Advantage Book Binding Can Help You Create the Printed Book You’ve Always Wanted!

Are you interested in having a bound novel? Are you entering the workforce, and need a bound portfolio to showcase your work? Advantage Book Binding offers plenty of services and binding types that are perfect for suiting your needs. We also offer specialty binding options for those of you looking for something extra special. Advantage Book Binding can advise you as to what kind of binding style will work best for your specific project, taking into consideration budget requirements to provide you with the most cost-effective and project-specific solution for you. Please contact us today for more information, and keep up with us on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, don’t hesitate to visit us at our Baltimore headquarters.