Does a Book Need to Be Bound?

A book’s binding provides an important line of defense for the text block, holding the pages fast and protecting them from shelving and wear. A binding also provides support for the readers, making it possible for them to interact with a text with ease and allowing for random or intermittent access through place marking. Hardbound books have hinges that allow the cover to swing open so that the book can be rested flat, either on a lap or a lectern, and the pages can be turned with ease. Bindings are considered paratext, but many decorated, pictorial and printed bindings provide information that is essential to the narrative or text contained within. Binding methods and styles are numerous, and the board binding of a codex book is only one of them. How do the objects in the exhibition conform to or subvert your idea of a book’s binding?

The Printers' Ball

The Printers' Ball, Friday July 31, 2009

Chicago: Columbia College Chicago, Center for Book and Paper Arts Poetry Magazine, 2009

Z209.C45P75 2009 MoPoRa

From the library of Ron Offen

This work has neither pages nor binding in the familiar sense of the printed book. The text consists of clippings from magazines and books and printers’ waste, hinged together by a screw post.