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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Much Ado About Book Binds

The other day I was reading about book binding. The spine of a book is quite important to many it would seem, but as a collector of books, I'd like to share my views and opinions of them. I sell many books on Amazon. Some are novels (J.M. Griffin) and are bound as paperback books are bound with glue, etc. But, I would like to talk about spiral binding and plastic comb bindings. My own Zentangle books are plastic comb bound. I have read my reviews (some "not very nice and certainly not constuctive")and found that some consider plastic comb binding "cheap". Well, they aren't cheap, it costs a dollar more per book when they are printed to have them comb bound. Why do I pay more? So if the reader wishes to remove pages without ruining them, they can make copies to work on and share, and then put the original page back in the book. I hear from fans that they like the fact they can do this, so I continue to have them bound this way. Sure, I could save lots of money and stop annoying my printer, who keeps recommending stapled spines, but I would rather offer my readers the chance to remove a page. These books are all workbooks, where those who want to play, can do so. If they want to share apage or two, they can do so. As a magazine published decorative painter (for more years than I will admit to, lol), I have a collection of soft cover books with stapled binds. The problem I have with the stapled binding is that eventually the books become frayed around the staples and fall apart. I know, they look "more professional", but when wear and tear is taken into account over a period of time, the staples tend to give way. I spoke with Sandy Steen Bartholomew about this issue when we met in Maine last month. She told me her fans don't care for spiral or cpmb binding, but when their book falls apart, they end up going with one of those choices. Life can be funny at times. While there is nothing wrong with stapled binding and those books do lend themselves to a professional appearance, I firmly believe that comb and spiral bindings last longer. That is just my humble opinion. Share your opinion with me. I would like to have your feedback on this subject.


  1. Hi Jeanne, this is a very interesting topic. When I was first working on my Tangle Organizers, I printed a test copy with perfect binding, and I didn't think they worked well at all. I finally settled on spiral binding so the books would lay flat, and everyone seems to like that.

  2. I can tell you from experience that I find spiral binding wonderful because it lays flat. I have many
    books designed by renown decorative artists that as soon as I received them, I trucked up to the office store and had them spiral bound for that reason - and believe me they were not "cheap" books to begin with.
    They have lasted much longer than many others that I have in my "artist" library. They are references that I go to many times a year for the answers I am seeking. So thank you Jeanne for the spiral binding. I also appreciate the fact that I can remove/copy a page to share with students in the hopes they will be enticed to purchase the entire book. It also makes it much easier to copy a page or two to tangle on and not have to work in the book. It gives me a chance to show students all the various "opportunities" I have given myself, until I tangle the the one I love.

  3. Greetings Jeanne~
    I really appreciated your article on bindings.
    Although I never realized why you chose to bind your books this way,
    I AM ONE WHO VERY MUCH APPRECIATES THE SPIRAL OR COMB BINDING for the very reasons you mentioned, as well as the ability to have your book lie flat while using it.
    The funny thing about the other binding types is the first thing I do after I get my new book is take it to Staples to SPIRAL BIND it!
    So I just had to support your wisdom and well thought as well as considerate article on binding.
    Happy Tangling!