The Art of Bookbinding by Joseph H. Zaehnsdorf
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BOOKBINDING carries us back to the time when leaden tablets with inscribed hieroglyphics were fastened together with rings, which formed what to us would be the binding of the volumes. We might go even still further back, when tiles of baked clay with cuneiform characters were incased one within the other, so that if the cover of one were broken or otherwise damaged there still remained another, and yet another covering; by which care history has been handed down from generation to generation. The binding in the former would consist of the rings which bound the leaden tablets together, and in the latter, the simple covering formed the binding which preserved the contents.