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Thread: Strategy Guide Spine Tear

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) calistarwind's Avatar
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    Default Strategy Guide Spine Tear

    I have been collecting strategy guides for as long as I can remember. Today when I was moving some of my strategy guides I noticed something that I didn't like. The spines of some of my strat guides have a tear on the spine (almost resembles a crack). When I buy strat guides I go through every one to make sure they are mint, so I don't think it is something I would have over looked. I also notice that it is more frequent on Brady Game guides. The actual guide is perfect in every other way. Just wondering if anyone knows the reason for this so I can prevent it from happening.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Natty Bumppo's Avatar
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    I would have to dig out one of my Brady guides to be certain - but most oversize paperbound books are put together in a format called "perfect binding". (The perfect has more to do with the visual result than a state of perfection in terms of quality.)

    Paperback/paperbound books (by and large) have never been published with long term longevity in mind.

    The way that perfect binding works results in large stripe of glue attaching the pages and then the cover is clamped on. Which means there is no space between the edge of the cover and the pages.

    Since most people are trying to use the guide while playing the game (and their thoughts are not on collecting but playing the game) they plop the book in front of them and put something on it to hold it open - which creates undue stress on the spine. If someone tries to totally flatten it out it will generally crack the spine.

    Perfect bindings are also prone to cover separation from the pages - fairly easy to fix if you use the right glue (basically a hinge glue used in libraries).

    Another factor is how dry the glue gets - so arid climates, exposure to heat (such as placing right next to a heat vent)
    or exposure to sunlight will create problems for the binding.

    They are also susceptible to various degrees of curling on the tops and the bottoms of the spine (mostly from abrasions of one sort or another) - this is really noticable on the older issues of Nintendo power - which were also perfect bound - don't know about the newer issues though.

    Another factor is the quality/quantity of the glue used - which is why some pulbishers' books are more prone to problems - and even books by the same publisher can differ since they will be using different batches of glue for different books or different printings.
    Last edited by Natty Bumppo; 05-06-2010 at 09:21 AM.
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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calistarwind View Post
    Just wondering if anyone knows the reason for this so I can prevent it from happening.
    Don't open them all the way. I'd say that opening the book more than 15 would leave marks on the spine.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) calistarwind's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the replys. Though those are all good reasons. I don't use my strategy guides for anything but collecting. I feel they are part of having a complete game.

    I believe after spending some time researching I have come to a conclusion. I ran out of space for strat guides on my shelf so I started stacking just a few guides on top of the those guides. I assume possibly the pressure of the guides with what Natty Bumppo said about perfect binding and how cheaply guides are made that this caused the cracking. I have started to collect the collectors editions (hard back) of stat guides because they seem to be made with a lot more care.

    I wanted to thank you both again for replying to my post.

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    You honestly never read a paperback book with a wide enough spine to develop bends in the spine? o_O I probably noticed that back in elementary school. It's from opening them wide. If you don't want the creases, then don't open the pages far apart near the spine, but that kind of nerfs your use of them so it isn't really worth it. It all comes down to if you value them more as collectibles or as usable resources.

    It is a bigger problem these days, though. RPG guides in particular are often really thick compared to guides of the past.

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