Tag Archives: bad bindings

Is There An Award For Worst Binding Ever?

Normally I don’t like to point fingers, but this item came into the lab and I really cannot NOT comment. I don’t know if this is a standard binding method for oversized music scores, but it certainly is a terrible binding for one. “Troubled Island” by William Grant Still is printed in single sheets on 11×17 inch paper and with 339 pages ends up about two inches thick. But the binding…

large music score in single sheets bound with tape
Does this qualify as a “binding”?

The cataloging record does say “bound with tape,” so warning number one that this is as issued. What the record doesn’t say is that this is bound with strapping tape, the kind with the glass yarn filament embedded in it.

close up of reinforced tape as spine.
So shiny, so strong.

But wait! There’s more! To create folios the publisher/printer placed three pieces of tape between each single sheet. One at the head, tail, and center of the sheet.

three pieces of tape per folio
So. Much. Tape.

This is bound for failure on so many levels. And it does not disappoint.

Loos pages, shifted sections, what a mess
Bound to fail.

I wish I could have a conversation with the publisher about this. Is there a reason this score is bound the way it is? Was the binding meant to be temporary? I really don’t understand any of it, but there must be a reason why they chose to bind this score in this way, right? If anyone knows, please leave the answer in the comments because I am stumped.

End Note 1: “Bound to Fail” would be a great bookbinding contest theme. Or has that been done already?

End Note 2: I guess if a package of American Cheese can be a book, why not this?