In the spring of 2002, after just a few months of binding, I tried an experiment. I had been binding a lot of blank books - they're easier to give away, and allowed me to focus on binding techniques without getting into the added complexities of restoration. I had noticed that the key issue in blank books is spine flexibility. After all, a book you write in has to open further, and stay open more easily, than a book you just read.
2005: This was before I was aware of spring back bindings, which solve this problem with elegance and wit.
At the same time, I was discussing binding with Chris Busta-Peck, another interested amateur from Everything2. He urged me to try binding with wheat paste rather than PVA. I decided to compare the two adhesives in a controlled experiment. As an afterthought, I also added another spine construction technique to the mix.
I made three books, which I identified by the colours of their bookmark ribbons.
The book with a red ribbon was the control, using the techniques I was best at. It was sewn on tapes, glued with PVA glue, had a hollow back built onto the spine, and was attached to split boards. Only the cover was experimental, with raised bands under the leather.
I originally intended to use the blue book to try wheat paste as the spine adhesive. Sadly, the spine did not stick to the book after 24 hours' drying time. So I abandoned that approach and used the book to try out the technique of casing in rather than binding onto split boards.
The green book (yeah, I know the cover is yellow, but the ribbon is green) was sewn on buried cords rather than external tapes. Its structure was otherwise the same as the control. I did try an interesting effect on the cover, using the flaws in the leather for a decorative effect.