Monday, 18 April 2016

How to Open a Book

When I was young (back in the Old Days), I was taught how to properly open a book.

Many books back then were the hardcovers (dustjackets and all), and there was a right way and a wrong way to open them for the first time.

Yes, there's a right and wrong way. Open a hardbound book the wrong way and you risked breaking the spine. Broken-spined books make little puppies cry. Books do not fare well with a broken spine, as that is the point where they are most likely to start falling apart. A hardbound book is designed to last a very long time, but one must ease the spine open at the beginning

In every library I've ever worked in, when we got new hardbound books, we'd gently ease them open with the method you see below because guaranteed some ham-fisted patron would unintentionally maul the poor thing on first opening.

Lifehacker shows you how to open a hardback book.

Her Grace hasn't had a new hardbound book in a long time. It's all perfect-bound paperbacks nowadays... Not that she can afford a nice, new hardbound book. Once upon a time she learned how to do hardbinding. She's tempted to bind up a legacy bibliography shelf copy of HEYC, dustjacket and all.


Me said...

There's a written technique to open a book?! Really didn't know that!

John Frain said...

Are you making this up? This looks like one of those old ads from the 50s that people actually believed, but later on realized it was just some knucklehead on Madison Avenue making stuff up in his office.

Celia Reaves said...

Amazing! I will follow this procedure faithfully from now on. Thank you!

Her Grace, Heidi, the Duchess of Kneale said...

My dear John Frain,

Yes, there is a right way and a wrong way to open a hardbound book. I've seen far too many hardbounds with broken spines to advocate otherwise.