BH101, part 5 (final)

>According to tradition, most books produced during the hand press period were issued sewn, but not bound (it has always been assumed that the buyer took the book to a binder). Recent scholarship suggests that many books were in fact issued in what we now call a publisher’s binding. In any case, books were sold both ways by booksellers, simply because the market required both products. Some patrons liked to put special bindings on their books, and some liked to buy them bound.

The most important thing to know about trends in the industry during the hand press period is that initially, a printer did most of the work (printing, publishing, and book selling). By the late 18th century these three activities were becoming specialties. Occasionally today a bookseller or a printer will also be a publisher (which simply means that they assume financial responsibility for the project), but it is almost unheard of for one entity to be all three (Oak Knoll Books is a notable example of a bookseller/publisher–see http://www.oakknoll.com/).

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