This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
The title-page - "Bookbinding and the Care of Books" is the complete title - tells us that this volume is a "text-book for bookbinders and librarians," and it would be difficult to say to which of these special classes it will prove the more valuable, for neither can well dispense with it. But there is a third, and much wider public than either of these, to whom it should appeal - the class that embraces every owner and lover of books.
So far as the technical side of Mr. Douglas Cockerill's volume is concerned, the amateur binder who has followed the series of practical articles on the same subject just completed in this magazine will naturally find here much with which she - the amateur bookbinder is usually a woman - is already familiar; but she can also find much that she desires still to know, and concerning which no one could better instruct her than our accomplished author. It is hardly too much to say that whatever can be taught of the craft otherwise than by actual demonstration will be found between these covers.
From the abundant and excellent illustrations by Mr. Noel Rooke we select, almost at haphazard, the two accompanying this notice, which are from a chapter on gold-tooling. They are suggestive examples of combining tools to form patterns. The larger one is a design for a centre. Its construction is thus described; - "A piece of paper is folded, as shown by the dotted lines, and an eighth of the pattern drawn with a soft pencil and folded over on the line A, and transferred by being rubbed at the back with a folder. This is lined in with a pencil, and folded over on the line B and rubbed off. This is lined in and folded over on A and C, rubbed off as before, and the whole lined in. The overs and unders of the lines are then marked, and gauges selected to fit. Of course, it will take several trials before the lines will interlace pleasantly, and the tools fit in." The other illustration we have selected for reproduction from the book is a centre, in which a spray is repeated three times. There are five tools employed in this for as many different sized leaves. Of course "a change of tools, or the slight alteration of a line, will give an entirely new aspect to a pattern."
The report of the committee appointed by the Society of Arts to investigate the cause of the decay of modern leather bindings shows that the bookbinders must share the blame with the leather manufacturers and librarians. It is serious to learn that "ninety per cent,of the books bound in leather during the last thirty years will need rebinding during the next thirty." But it is not only our modern leather bindings that are bad. The usual cloth case is a wretched affair; one can hardly open it without damage to the joints. As Mr. Cockerill remarks, "it fails as a temporary binding, because the methods employed result in serious damage to the sections of the book, often unfitting them for rebinding, and it fails as a permanent binding on account of the absence of sound construction." One of its chief defects is the use of the hollow back, which throws all the strain of opening or shutting on the joints, and renders the back liable to come right off if the book is much used. Yet, if carefully done, satisfactory binding may be made with hollow backs. One of the most valuable features of Mr. Cockerill's volume are the
"Specifications for Bookbinding," covering every grade of book, from "extra binding" in whole leather to "library bindings of books of little interest or value." To almost anyone who has to send books to the binder these four pages alone are worth the price of the volume. (London: John Hogg, 13, Paternoster Row. 5s. net.)