Sunday, January 24, 2021

Old Spine Linings

I like finding interesting things in the spines of old books. Of course, after sewing a textblock there is often paper glued to the spine and it is entirely invisible once the book has been cased. I've taken workshops over the years where much fuss is made about what to use for spine linings and how some types of paper are perfect for this purpose and others are not. That is certainly true sometimes and hand binders can take the time to think about that nowadays, I suppose. Though, evidently, in commercial binderies a hundred years ago, when full editions of books were being made by hand, they used whatever paper they had for the spine linings and it was not unusual to use offcuts or scraps from the bin. So, we often find printed material in there when we're repairing books now. A few lines from The Winter's Tale, why not!


Lynn in Tucson said...

How fabulous! And now I can think about hiding things there!

MyHandboundBooks said...

Indeed! I think it's not uncommon for bookbinders to write on the spine of books before casing them in :)

Jen said...

That’s amazing!! I am always thinking about how incredulous prior generations would be if they could witness our processes for just about any task or hobby! I I think that we are probably living in the time with the greatest technological & societal changes in any 100-200 year time period; at least as far as any known civilizations. Even going back through my own lifetime; I am 47- it’s just a completely different world, isn’t it?
I think that’s why I love book binding so much!! I feel like it connects me to something real, something so uniquely human- the process of gathering & sharing information & ideas. That probably sounds so silly; but I am just pretty sure that I probably should have been born in another time period 🙂
Anyway, thank you for this! I would have been absolutely giddy to discover something like that in an old book!!