Handling Asian-Style Books
Before handling any book, consider:
Does the binding open easily?
Is the binding broken?
Is the paper brittle, flexible, torn?
Does this type of binding require special support to avoid damage
An accordion-style book is made of one long continuous length of paper
or card folded in alternate directions that piles up, back and forth,
to make a text block or album.
- Avoid strain on the folded accordion joints by keeping the text
block in alignment by careful placement when turning the pages of
the book. This will prevent twisting the folded joints that can
lead to a tear or to forming a new crease.
- When open, keep the text block level and flat to avoid straining
the fold by using flat supports under the thinner side of the text
block to make the opening level. Change the height of the supports
as the pages are turned and the difference in heights gradually
evens out and then switches to the other half of the text block.
- The supports can be multiple sheets of mat board or thin, flat
cushions that can be stacked to give varying thickness.
- Keep in mind that the strength of an individual side-sewn fascicle
is along the sewn edge. Carefully support the soft, flexible fascicle
with both hands.
- Pick up the fascicle at the sewn edge of the text.
- Support the rest of the text with the palm of your other hand
when removing from the stack or table, particularly when the covers
of the book do not provide support.
- If the book has flexible text paper, it will open easily and
can be viewed opened out on a table surface. If the paper is not
flexible, a cradle will provide the needed support to avoid damage
to the stiff or brittle paper. See "Cradles" below.
Groups of Fascicles
Alignment of the fascicles within the wrapper is the most important
aspect of protecting them from being bent, creased, torn or broken
because the strength is in the group.
- Make sure they are aligned by carefully re-placing the fascicle
on the stack while supporting the text block with the palm of your
- Align the fascicles by gently nudging into place with the soft
sides of your fingers before closing the cloth- covered wrapper
around the stack.
- For books that do not open easily, place the book in a cradle or
between two bolsters that support both boards of the book in a 90-120
- Soft, flexible weights can be used to gently hold the book open
at the angle that causes least resistance.