Haven't done it in a while but I used to bind my own books so that I didn't have to pay extra for really cool ones. Mostly printed computer paper from 150 for 300 pages for the contents. This is what I did as far as the spine is concerned:
- Get the pages together by gently knocking them on the table and rotating it so that I was knocking consistently in all directions.
- Brace the spine on either side with clamps and paint stick so that only a millimetre or two was exposed.
- Sand the paper to ruffle up the fibres. Theory for that is more surface area for the glue to bind.
- Slighty dampen the paper on the spine to help the glue penetrate more.
- Added a little cheese cloth
- Using contact cement apply a couple of coats (separated by about day to be sure). I had tried Gorrila Glue a couple of time thinking the expansion would help but it just made the spine larger and I had to remove the curve it created.
- Continue on.
Now that did work and I made about 20 books successfully. However I wasn't 100% happy with the product.
Sometimes there would be single pages that did not get an equal amount of glue. So I would be using the book and open a page and turn it just to have it pop out.
I gauged the strength of the book by trying to lift it up by one of the pages. For the smaller ones like 50 to 100 pages this was fine. Larger one I lost the page. This might have been an unrealistic test.
I know that one folly is that I didn't make the book in booklets where the pages were grouped together by 16 or 32 pages like you would see in conventional books. At the time this was not really available to me. Now it is more likely but I would like to know if there is a way to improve on my process above without making drastic changes. If drastic is needed so be it.
Perhaps my choice of glue was bad. It needs to be strong yet flexible and preferable penetrate easy. Contact cement seemed to work fine outside of the issues I mentioned.