History of bookbinding
The craft of bookbinding may have originated around the 1st century A.D. Codices were a significant improvement over
papyrus or vellum scrolls, in that they were easier to handle, allowed writing on both sides of the leaves, and could be
searched through more quickly. This book format became the preferred way of preserving manuscript or printed material.
Books were bound between hard covers, with pages made from paper, or parchment, folded and sewn onto strong cords or ligaments
that were attached to wooden boards and covered with leather. Since early books were exclusively handwritten on handmade
materials, sizes and styles varied considerably, and each book was a unique creation or a copy of it.
With the arrival (from the East) of rag paper manufacturing through Europe in the late Middle Ages and the use of the
printing press beginning in the mid-15th century, bookbinding began to standardize somewhat. But page sizes still varied considerably.