Booklets is a set of written, printed, illustrated, or blank sheets, made of ink, paper, parchment, or other materials, usually fastened together to hinge at one side. A single sheet within a book is called a leaf, and each side of a leaf is called a page. A set of text-filled or illustrated pages produced in electronic format is known as an electronic book, or e-book.
booklets may also refer to works of literature, or a main division of such a work. In library and information science, a booklets is called a monograph, to distinguish it from serial periodicals such as magazines, journals or newspapers. The body of all written works including booklets is literature. In novels and sometimes other types of booklets (for example, biographies), a book may be divided into several large sections, also called booklets (Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, and so on). An avid reader of booklets is a bibliophile or colloquially, bookworm.
Some booklets, particularly those with shorter runs (i.e. fewer copies) will be printed on sheet-fed offset presses, but most books are now printed on web presses, which are fed by a continuous roll of paper, and can consequently print more copies in a shorter time. As the production line circulates, a complete “booklets” is collected together in one stack, next to another, and another.
A web press carries out the folding itself, delivering bundles of signatures (sections) ready to go into the gathering line. Notice that when the book is being printed it is being printed one (or two) signatures at a time, not one complete booklets at a time. Excess numbers are printed to make up for any spoilage due to “make-readies” or test pages to assure final print quality.
A make-ready is the preparatory work carried out by the pressmen to get the printing press up to the required quality of impression. Included in make-ready is the time taken to mount the plate onto the machine, clean up any mess from the previous job, and get the press up to speed. As soon as the pressman decides that the printing is correct, all the make-ready sheets will be discarded, and the press will start making books. Similar make readies take place in the folding and binding areas, each involving spoilage of paper.
After the signatures are folded and gathered, they move into the bindery. In the middle of last century there were still many trade binders – stand-alone binding companies which did no printing, specializing in binding alone. At that time, because of the dominance of letterpress printing, typesetting and printing took place in one location, and binding in a different factory. When type was all metal, a typical book’s worth of type would be bulky, fragile and heavy. The less it was moved in this condition the better: so printing would be carried out in the same location as the typesetting. Printed sheets on the other hand could easily be moved. Now, because of increasing computerization of preparing a booklets for the printer, the typesetting part of the job has flowed upstream, where it is done either by separately contracting companies working for the publisher, by the publishers themselves, or even by the authors. Mergers in the book manufacturing industry mean that it is now unusual to find a bindery which is not also involved in booklets printing (and vice versa).
If the booklets is a hardback its path through the bindery will involve more points of activity than if it is a paperback.
“Making cases” happens off-line and prior to the book’s arrival at the binding line. In the most basic case-making, two pieces of cardboard are placed onto a glued piece of cloth with a space between them into which is glued a thinner board cut to the width of the spine of the book. The overlapping edges of the cloth (about 5/8″ all round) are folded over the boards, and pressed down to adhere. After case-making the stack of cases will go to the foil stamping area for adding decorations and type.
Recent developments in book manufacturing include the development of digital printing. booklets pages are printed, in much the same way as an office copier works, using toner rather than ink. Each booklets is printed in one pass, not as separate signatures. Digital printing has permitted the manufacture of much smaller quantities than offset, in part because of the absence of make readies and of spoilage. One might think of a web press as printing quantities over 2000, quantities from 250 to 2000 being printed on sheet-fed presses, and digital presses doing quantities below 250. These numbers are of course only approximate and will vary from supplier to supplier, and from book to book depending on its characteristics. Digital printing has opened up the possibility of print-on-demand, where no booklets are printed until after an order is received from a customer.