How to open a book by William Mathews, bookbinder

by Rachel Baker on March 23, 2014

This is pretty cool! The below snippet and page (at the first link) is from a book that was originally published in 1923.

William Mathews, the most famous bookbinder America has produced, in his Modern Bookbinding Practically Considered, relates the following incident:

“Many years ago and excellent customer of mine, a connoisseur, who thought he knew perfectly how to handle books, came into my office when I had an expensively bound book just completed, ready to be sent home. Taking the volume in his hand, and, holding the leaves tightly together (instead of allowing them full play), he violently opened it in the center, exclaiming: ‘How beautifully your bindings open!’ I almost fainted. He had broken the back of the volume, and it had to rebound.”

Moral: Even a well-bound book may be easily ruined at the first opening.

Here is a picture of the page showing the proper way to open a book:

And here’s a link to the book mentioned above:
Modern bookbinding practically considered

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