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The Cost-Effective Alternative to Hardcover: Long-Lasting Softcover Books

Looking for strong and durable books without the high price of hardcover? Consider Softcover books made with PUR binding adhesive and a laminated cover.

Hardcover books, also known as hardback or hardbound books, have a reputation for strength, durability and longevity. The pages are usually sewn together at the spine with heavy thread in order to keep them firmly in place. Also, the hard-wearing cover is made from pieces of thick paper board. In most cases, this rigid board is covered with a gloss-coated paper to help the book resist stains and moisture.

Though extremely durable, a hard cover book is the most expensive style of book to produce. In fact, the high cost of creating hard cover books is the main reason why softcover books - primarily perfect bound books - have gained such widespread popularity. Also known as softbound, softback or paperback books, softcover books may not be as tough as hard cover books, but they can be produced for a fraction of the cost.

How to Achieve the Best of Both Worlds…

Fortunately, there is a way to create books that are long-lasting and reasonably priced. The secret is to create a perfect bound softcover book with the desirable features of a hard cover book. Namely, pages that remain intact through years of use and a cover that offers superior resistance to wear.
Because traditional perfect bound books fall short in these two areas, you'll need to find a book printer that can offer you the following two options…

1) Polyurethane (PUR) Binding Adhesive - PUR is the most durable, longest lasting book binding glue available. PUR has superior flexibility, which prevents the spine from cracking when the book is opened wide or pressed down flat. It also has superior strength, making it is nearly impossible to pull a page out of a book bound with PUR adhesive. Needless to say, it is far superior to Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) or any other adhesives used in traditional perfect binding.

2) A Laminated Cardstock Cover - varnish, aqueous and UV coatings all have their place in the realm of printing, but nothing will protect your book like a tough laminate film bonded to the cover. Plastic lamination provides the ultimate protection against tears, abrasions, creases and wrinkles. It also blocks stains from dirt, moisture, grease, oil and other contaminants. For additional strength and rigidity, the printed cover substrate can be made from thick cardstock prior to lamination.

If you have an upcoming softcover book project that requires the most durable, longest lasting construction available, give Formax Printing Solutions a call at (866) 367-6221 or (314) 434-5500. Unlike other book printers, Formax does not charge a premium for PUR adhesive, even though it is a far superior binding process. We also have amazing prices on Lamination.

Let us know if you have any questions about PUR adhesive, Lamination, or book printing in general. Or, if you already know your specifications and would like to receive a quote simply click here. As always, we look forward to assisting you!

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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