|dc.description.abstract||This exhibition featured both utilitarian and
quality bindings. Most were publishers’ bindings or
edition bindings; that is, one of many copies of the
same title given an identical binding by the publisher.
Modern book buyers take this for granted but, in the
early nineteenth century, only certain categories of
books (such as those for children) were given
permanent bindings before they were sold.
Bookshops stocked many books in temporary
bindings made of paper-covered boards; bookbuyers
then ordered a leather binding of their choice. Until
the 1840s, publishers’ bindings were often dull, as
publisher-booksellers wanted an inexpensive
binding. Gradually, paper and cloth bindings were
accepted by the public as a permanent binding and
print runs (and immediate sales) were large enough to justify a well-designed and attractive cover.||en_US