You have them hanging on the refrigerator, stored in boxes, or stuck between the thick pages of a big book until you have the time figure out what to do with them. These are the crayola drawings your children or grandchildren have made; the certificates and awards they have earned in school and even the programs from their school plays that you have saved to remember those special events. They are also important documents such as Marriage & Death certificates, diplomas, and career awards. You can protect these special papers and important documents from deterioration by binding them into a book.
People have been binding important documents and special papers into books for centuries. The practice of bookbinding even dates back to ancient times, when the detailed accounts of certain events were inscribed on thin stone tablets and then encased using different materials such as leather, ropes, and wooden pegs inside thicker tablets of stone to protect this information from being lost due to damaging toxins in the air, and dirt. These early ‘bindings’ were the first books created.
Bookbinding occurs through the use of various methods to secure or bind together loose pages or sections of a book or booklet using stitching, staples, wire, plastic, tape, or glue. You can bind your special papers and important documents into a book using these techniques yourself or by having a professional binding service do the job for you. You can find binding services through your local print shop, your local phone directory, and online. The costs of having a professional do the binding for you will be influenced by your choice of materials used in the binding process, but these costs can be a worthwhile investment in the time and work it saves you from having to do on your own.
You will be pleased to find that there are many materials available to you to choose from for your bookbinding project. Today we have materials such as: leather, strong-bond paper, and vinyl, which are a light-weight, yet durable alternative to the heavy-weight, stone tablets of ancient times. These materials are used every day to produce the copy-back and hard-cover books that we buy to read.
If you prefer to bind your special papers and important documents into a book yourself, it is no longer required that you perform the labor-intensive task of stapling, taping, or gluing individual pages together in order to bind them into a book. Today, you can purchase a ‘binding machine’ that takes the work out of bookbinding for you. These machines are capable of using different materials to bind your pages together and they are a good investment. This is especially true for those who don’t want to, or who don’t have the luxury of a lot of time to put towards protecting special documents by binding them into a book.
If your budget doesn’t allow for the purchase of a binding machine or to have your pages bound by a professional, consider this alternative: purchase 3-ring binders with protective sleeves already in them, or use a photo album you already have and personalize your book by using stickers, decorated paper cut into different shapes, markers, crayons, and whatever else you would like. Place your important documents and special papers in the protective sleeves and then don’t forget to use labels to document such important information as what, where, when, and who. Binding special papers and documents into a book, not only protects them from spills, fingerprints, and dirt; it also ensures their long-term preservation as well.
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