Worktable Wednesday

I have made peace with myself over not making anything in the studio today. I decided that in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, everyone gets free pass and you get to decide what the pass is for. You can also use it more than once. Says me.

This is what I had hoped to work on today:

Shutterfly book

My mother-in-law is an amazing cook and a couple of years ago, my sister-in-law compiled a bunch of her mother’s recipes into a cookbook. She decided to produce the cookbook using Shutterfly. She spent hours on the layout – I’m pretty sure she came close to losing her mind a few times.

Finally, she finished it. We ordered our copies from Shutterfly. All was good in the world.

Then last week, while my sister-in-law is home for the holidays, I get a frustrated call – her mom’s copy of the book was already falling apart. Wuh?

I now get to repair a Shutterfly book, which seems completely bizarre. A bunch of the pages have completely fallen out.

Shutterfly book falling apart

But that’s not the strangest part – take a closer look. The pages seem to be perforated. I can’t get my brain wrapped around this at all. Is there some secret binding that I’m not aware of that uses this technique?

Shutterfly book falling apart

Here’s another check in the Buy Handmade column.

4 Responses to “Worktable Wednesday”

By Caroline - 30 December 2010 Reply

That is really sad! I have never used Shutterfly, but I would be devastated to work that hard on something and have it fall apart. Plus she doesn’t even have the layouts to publish in another method.

By Elissa - 31 December 2010 Reply

Caroline –

The really shocking thing is that the book cost over $100.00!

With all the time she put into it and the money spent by the whole family, we’d have been better off if I had handbound copies for everyone & had mounted the photos/recipes by hand.


By Carol - 2 January 2011 Reply

Elissa, this is an awful example of ‘perfect binding’, a misnomer if ever there was one. When it works it’s fine but so often it fails and often the size of the book and the weight of the text block is just too much for a spine held together with just glue. I think the perforations are there to give the glue more purchase on the spine edge. Not successful in this case. I’m really sorry your mother-in-law has had this experience but I know you’ll do your best to fix it.

By Carol - 2 January 2011 Reply

I just found this description of a binding that sounds like the one you have – ‘Burst binding has notches or perforations in the spine which allows better penetration by the glue.’ [Bright Print Group, Sydney, Australia]. This has just made me aware of all the terms in binding that are used in the commercial business – side sewn, burst binding, stapled, Smyth Sewn – which I think is pretty good, and the old perfect binding, just to name a few. No wonder we’ve decided to bind things for ourselves.

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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