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Bookbinding: The Pros & Cons of Each Type

Bookbinding is a process that involves assembling printed or written pages into a single manuscript. The pages are enclosed inside a cover, which is typically thicker and more durable to provide added protection. Bookbinding can be done with glue, stitching, heat pressing, and other methods to create the ideal finished product for any project. The costs and other considerations involved depend on the exact method of binding chosen, which we’ll discuss below.

Despite the growing popularity of eBooks and digital printing, there is still much value to be had from printing physical books either in addition to or instead of a digital version. Some readers just prefer tangible books. In other cases, such as with employee manuals or technical manuals, a printed reference may be necessary. If you’re publishing a workbook-style piece or something you want people to be able to notate, printing a hard copy might also be beneficial.

Regardless of your reasons, if you’ve chosen to produce a physical copy of a book, here’s what you need to know about binding.

Types of Bookbinding

There are several types of binding to choose from, and each has its pros and cons. Take the time to read more about each and contact us when you’re ready to get started.

Case Binding

Case binding is also referred to as hardcover binding and is one of the best options for high-quality binding. Historically, all major books were casebound first and then offered in other editions later. Some were only produced in hardcover to prove their value or quality. The process entails stitching together sections of the pages and then gluing each section to the end paper, which is then secured to the spine. This ensures durable construction and that the books will lay flat when opened.

Case binding is ideal for collector’s books, coffee table books, high-end publishing, and anyone who wants the most professional, high-quality binding option. They often require printing minimums, however, so hardcover books might not be ideal for small runs.


  • An impressive presentation that offers an air of sophistication and quality
  • Will lay flat without needing to be held open
  • More durable design can garner higher retail pricing


  • Case binding is the most expensive option
  • These books tend to be quite heavy, increasing shipping costs in some cases
  • The larger, bulky style may not be ideal for portability

Perfect Binding

This method of binding, also known as softcover or paperback binding, offers a more affordable option with a lower-cost cover while still producing a high-quality-looking result. The cover is typically made from cardstock that is laminated or coated to add protection for the inner pages. The pages are glued together and then glued into the cover and spine.

Perfect binding is great for all kinds of fiction, non-fiction, and other publications that need a professional, paperback appearance. It offers the quality and feel of a professionally published book without the expense of hardcover printing.


  • Can print on demand and print to order with no minimums
  • More economical printing and shipping costs
  • Lighter weight and lower profile increase portability
  • Still offers a high-quality presentation


  • Binding doesn’t allow books to lay flat
  • Cracking of the spine can compromise the integrity of the book
  • The paper cover is not as protective or durable

Saddle Stitch Binding

Saddle stitch binding is a bit of a misnomer because today’s “saddle stitching” is actually done with staples. However, it offers an economical solution for books or printed materials that have short-term or limited use, as well as for those with only a few pages. The pages are printed and organized and then stacked in the proper order. They are stapled in the middle and then folded to create a finished book. This binding can be done with or without a dedicated book cover, although a simple cover can add that extra pop.

Saddle stitching is ideal for small children’s books, workbooks, calendars, magazines and catalogs, comic books, tourist guides, and related materials.


  • A highly affordable option for short-term and small booklets
  • Quick turnaround time on the production


  • The paper material is much more susceptible to damage
  • Staples can come out or break over time or with overuse, so it’s not ideal for long-term projects or materials

Spiral Binding

Plastic-coated spiral binding
Wire O spiral binding

Spiral binding is a popular choice for coloring books, cookbooks, handbooks, manuals, and other short-run printing needs. These books are easy to produce and bind. Pages are printed and collated, and then they are punched with holes along the spine. A coil is fed through the holes to bind the pages together, which can be made of plastic, coated wire, or metal. Spiral bound book printing is produced quickly and with no minimum requirements, and they can be fitted with any cover material and style to create the perfect look for less.

Spiral binding printing can be as basic or as high-quality as you want, and it still offers one of the most affordable options, even when you choose a professional partner like Print Bind Ship.


  • Cost-effective for short-run printing and smaller projects
  • Will easily lay flat when opened and can be folded back on itself


  • This format is generally not accepted in most retail distribution channels
  • Coils can sometimes create snags or issues with pages turning/tearing

Bookbinding for Beginners

If you’re looking to learn the basics of bookbinding, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some things to know for turning loose leaf into a completed book.

Firstly, you’ll need to invest in the right tools and materials. Essential tools for bookbinding include a bone folder, awl, ruler, and a good-quality bookbinding glue. Additionally, you’ll need various types of paper, bookbinding thread, and a selection of bookbinding fabrics or covers. It’s essential to choose materials that are suitable for your specific project to ensure longevity and aesthetics.

Secondly, start with simple binding techniques. As a beginner, it’s better to focus on mastering basic techniques before moving on to more complex methods. Two popular binding techniques for beginners are pamphlet stitch binding and perfect binding. Pamphlet stitch binding is a great starting point as it requires minimal tools and can be easily learned. Perfect binding, on the other hand, mimics the look of a professionally bound book and gives you a chance to practice glue application.

YouTube has a plethora of bookbinding tutorials by experienced bookbinders that can guide you through various techniques. You may also find tutorials on Google or TikTok.

Additionally, joining bookbinding communities or local workshops can provide opportunities for hands-on learning and networking with other experts. Sharing your work and seeking feedback from fellow enthusiasts can accelerate your growth and inspire new ideas.

Another option can be to seek out professional bookbinding services. There are a host of partners out there, such as Print Bind Ship, that offer comprehensive book printing and binding services. Working with a professional means you may be able to take on more advanced bookbinding options, such a spiral bounding or custom-bound books. Professional services may also be more economical when distributing your look en masse, ensuring a perfect bound book every single time for every customer.

Book Printing and Binding Services

Printing and binding is a two-in-one job. At Print Bind Ship, we’ve been specializing in the entire process for more than 60 years. We know what it takes to create the perfect book, no matter which binding method you choose. We can create nearly any type of bookbinding or book cover you’re looking for. We work with paperback, hardcover books, a variety of textiles and more!

To simplify the process, we also offer printing services to turn your manuscript into a book! Our printing methods adapt to the type of binding you choose– some require specific printing methods to render properly in a finished book. We operate the most advanced and high-tech printers on the market, ensuring that each book is printed and bound with the utmost professionalism.

When you work with Print Bind Ship, you can ensure you’re getting the best printing and bookbinding services on the market. And we don’t stop there! We also offer print-on-demand book printing, book fulfillment, and more. In short, we’re an ideal partner for authors looking to get their works out into the world!

When you partner with an industry leader like us, you’ll get a better result all-around, no matter what you’re printing and publishing. Have a project in mind? Get a free quote for your project!

What’s Next: Print and Bind With Print Bind Ship

Give us a call today to discuss your printing and binding options, as well as other ways that Print Bind Ship can assist you. We offer all of the best printing and binding services, along with custom design and packaging, and even shipping solutions, to ensure that your printed materials are produced, packaged, and distributed efficiently and professionally every single time.

Whether you know what you need or you’re looking for a little more insight, we can help you choose the perfect binding option every time. Contact us now to get started, and check out our other services below to see what else we can do for you. When you partner with Print Bind Ship, your book will always be in good hands.

Additional Services Provided by Print Bind Ship


What is bookbinding and why is it important?

As a professional in the field of bookbinding, I would say that bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book by securing its pages together and attaching them to a cover. It is an important step in the publishing process as it ensures durability and enhances the overall presentation of a book.

What are the different types of bookbinding methods available?

In my experience, there are various book binding methods to choose from based on your specific requirements. Some common techniques include saddle stitching, perfect binding, spiral binding, case binding, and wire binding. Each method offers unique advantages and is suitable for different types of publications.

Can you provide a brief overview of each type of book binding method?

Certainly! Saddle stitching involves securing pages through staples along the spine, perfect binding uses adhesive to attach pages to a cover, spiral binding uses a plastic or metal coil to hold pages together, case binding involves sewing together pages and attaching them to a hardcover, and wire binding utilizes a metal wire to bind pages.

What factors should I consider when choosing a book binding method?

As an expert, I highly recommend considering factors such as the intended purpose of the book, the number of pages, the desired aesthetic appeal, and the budget. Additionally, factors like durability, ease of use, and the ability to lay flat when opened should also be taken into account.

Can I get my already printed book rebound?

Yes, it is possible to get your already printed book rebound. However, the feasibility of rebinding will depend on various factors such as the binding method used, the condition of the book, and the desired outcome. It is advisable to consult with a professional bookbinder to assess whether rebinding is a viable option for your book.

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