by Kelvin Smith
The package may be put together with threads and composites, enclosed in papers and boards, covered with dowdy or decorative cloths and hides. From the first bound book, it’s been a matter of taste and acceptability, display and practicality, culture and class. Digital is more imprisoned than bound in its inquisitorial devices. For print, different tastes and budgets are accounted for.
“Cloth, limp, gilt top, 2s. net per volume. Imitation leather, limp, gilt top, 2s. 6d. net per volume. Leather, limp, gilt top, with book-marker, 3s. net per volume. Half vellum,cloth sides, gilt top, 3s. 6d. net per volume.”
[Advertisement for George Eliot’s Life and Works in Fourteen Volumes in Travers, G. The Way of Escape. Edinburgh and London.: William Blackwood & Sons. 1904]