I bought a book which is paperback and very large: 697 A4 pages. It appears to be what is called perfect bound, that is, where the spine is adhered directly to the back of the pages. At a minimum, I am going to put a hard cover onto it to protect the corners which I know will otherwise inevitably be damaged in the normal course of use. I am not anticipating excessively heavy use, but I'm definitely going to use the book and at 700 pages there's a lot to use.
In addition to the cover, I am worried about the binding. I am wondering:
- If I do a good job putting hard covers on it, but leave the current binding intact, how much should I be worried that it will break down, considering the size and weight of the book, and the nature of perfect binding? Is there anything I can inspect to get a sense of how good the binding is?
- If the binding is glued, is it even possible to sew it instead? Would there even be signatures? Or is there some other way to solidify it?
That looks like a lot of different questions, but they are just different angles on this question: If I want this large book to last, should I rework the binding in addition to the cover?