Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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mechanical binding

The business of binding single leaves in a non-exchangeable form. In such a binding, leaves cannot be added, removed, or relocated in the book, as is possible in the case of LOOSE-LEAF BINDING . Mechanical binding may be done on many levels of technology, and is usually part of the services of the job bindery. The forms which mechanical binding can take include spiral, coil, ring, cercla (a binding consisting of connected plastic rings), and comb. Mechanical bindings have several advantages, including: 1) the leaves open flat; 2) pages may be arranged in any order, and may be of varying weights and sizes; 3) there is no need to impose and print in even forms, as 8, 16, 32, etc., pages; and 4) the bindings are simpler and less expensive than sewn and/or adhesive bindings. They also have disadvantages, however, some of which are: 1) they are more expensive than simple wire stitched bindings; 2) when the book is open, the left hand page is usually (higher) or lower than the right, by half the distance between the holes; 3) they do not provide the support and protection often desired in permanent bindings; and 4) pages are more easily lost, torn out, or stolen. Mechanical bindings are frequently used for calendars, diaries, price books, notebooks, catalogs, instruction books, etc. (320 )

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