Friday, April 01, 2011

B is for bookbinding

The advent of the art of bookbinding was a consequence of the creation of the codex. The scroll, while seemingly free and unbound, is an imposition of sequence—each page made inextricable from the page before and the page to follow. The codex, which may have been informed by the practice of folding scrolls for easier transportation, is in fact an innovation of kind. A single edge of each leaf is bound, leaving the other free. This freedom, alone, can prove destructive, and damaging even to the book itself, which suffers from being read. Thus binding became a process of containment and not simply sequence.

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