Books that lie open

Robin Kinross, typographer, writer and proprietor of Hyphen Press, writes here on the 'vexed issue of book-production: binding techniques. He discusses paperbacks, the advantages of the relatively new 'Otabind' process, where the book-block is free of the cover sheet spine, allowing for a flat opening (pictured above) and the problems with the 'hot-glue' binding (pictured below), which cracks when the book is opened by the 'serious reader'.

He goes on to say: 'One might remark also that a book open on a table – while the reader holds a cup of tea in both hands (for warmth and comfort), or sews a button on a shirt, or carries a young child – is no more than a mark of decent civilization. So the binding should be strong enough to withstand this opening-out.'

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