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is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material.

Modern commercial binding

There are various commercial techniques in use today. Commercially-produced books today tend to be of one of four categories:

A hardcover or hardbound book has rigid covers and is stitched in the spine. Looking from the top of the spine, the book can be seen to consist of a number of signatures bound together.









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Sonoma Book Bindery
20651 8th St E, Sonoma, CA 707 996-9633

Reade Moore Book Restoration
Petaluma, CA 707 762-2215

Pettingell Book Bindery
2181 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 510 845-3653

Honestly Bound Books
27th & D St, Sacramento, CA 916 443-2665
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When the book is opened in the middle of a signature, the binding threads are visible. The signatures in modern hardcover books are typically octavo (a single sheet folded three times), though they may also be folio, quarto, or 16mo. See the discussion below and book size. Unusually large and heavy books are sometimes bound with wire or cable.
The covers of modern hardback books are of thick cardboard. Until the mid 20th century those of mass-produced books were covered in cloth, but from that period onwards most publishers adopted clothette, a kind of textured paper which vaguely resembles cloth but is easily differentiated on close inspection.

A variation of the hardcover which is more durable is the calf-binding, 'half-calf' or 'full-calf' (also called 'full-bound' or simply 'leather bound') where the cover is either fully or half clad in leather, usually from a calf.
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