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Bookbinding can be traced back to ancient times when stone tablets were used to record important events. Information was transcribed onto these tablets and then placed between other tablets to protect the vital information from being lost due to damage from particles in the air, or dust. These tablets were then bound together using various materials that also made it possible to transport these tablets from one area to another much easier. These same principles are behind today's bookbinding, whether they are employed for publishing paperback and hardcover books for sale to consumers, to protect important legal and personal documents, or used to preserve special photographs and papers in a scrapbook keepsake memory book.

Bookbinding is a term used to describe the various methods of securing or "binding" together of loose pages into a book. The binding can be accomplished by using stitching, staples, wire, plastic, tape, or glue. Bookbinding can be a labor-intensive project for the do-it-yourselfer, depending upon the methods chosen and the number of loose pages to be bound. However, there are many options available to the "crafty" and the not-so-crafty person, that can make bookbinding a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. If you are good at working with your hands, you might enjoy punching holes in your pages and then stitching them together into a book by using materials such as, leather, rope, and colored yarns. If you're less handy when it comes to craft -making but still want to turn your loose pages into a book yourself: consider purchasing 3-ring binders and protective sleeves that are pre-punched to hold the pages you want to preserve. You can then decorate these binders using stickers, cut-outs, pictures, buttons, labels, etc. to make it truly your own creation.

If you would like to use different materials for your bookbinding without all of the hard work, you can opt to purchase a binding machine that will do most of the work for you. A binding machine is a good investment, especially if you plan to create several books at home. You can always choose to have your pages bound into a book by professionals too. Inquire at your local print shop as to their pricing for binding services. Professional bookbinding services can also be found online. The internet contains a wealth of information in the form of tips and ideas for bookbinding, discount suppliers of binding machines, and binding materials for the do-it-yourselfer and referrals to professional binding services. Keep in mind that the costs of bookbinding whether you do-it-yourself, or hire it out, will be determined not only by the methods you choose for your bookbinding, but also by the types of materials you choose in binding your book.

You might be asking yourself why anyone would go to the trouble of binding loose pages into a book themselves or by paying someone else to do it for them. The answer is quite simple; bookbinding is an excellent way to protect legal and personal documents, as well as preserve special photographs and papers in a format that is functional, attractive, portable, and personalized. Bookbinding can be an enjoyable activity for the crafter. And even those who don't necessarily enjoy crafts will delight in having a personalized book that holds the documents and memories that are important to them. Binding your pages into a book not only protects and preserves those special documents, pictures, papers, and memories, it creates a keepsake to be shared with family and friends, and even be passed from one generation to another, full of history and memories to be preserved forever.
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