Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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drying memory

A characteristic of certain hot-melt adhesives which causes them to attempt to return to the shape or configuration they had when they set. When a hot-melt adhesive is applied to the flat spine of a book, and the book is subsequently rounded and backed, the "memory" of the adhesive tends to cause it to revert to the original flat configuration it had when it set, thus also flattening the spine of the book. This loss of round will eventually cause the binding to fail, i.e., the book will become loose in its case because of the strain of the backing shoulders caused by the loss of round.

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