A Plea for Better Bindings
I haven’t spent much time focusing on any of the losing battles I’ve fought at my library. For example, I’ve come to accept that the air conditioner will never work correctly (man it’s been hot in the Northeast this week). But being who I am, the one issue that continues to bug me more than any other is that we are not buying many graphic novels because the bindings are crap much of the time.
The children’s’ librarian would love to have a larger collection in YA, because she knows how in demand they are. However, she doesn’t find them to be cost effective when all the pages fall out on the second circulation. I think we must have some patrons who are just really rough with our books because I don’t have this problem with my own collection (well I did on 3 occasions). But it’s true that the trades generally have awful glue bindings, without signatures, and often on cheap paper.
There are very few available with anything better. You can get the new colorized editions of Bone with library bindings, and then there are the crazy Absolute and Omnibus editions that Marvel and DC are putting out (incidentally everyone should get the Howard the Duck Omnibus when it eventually comes out, damn delays). But the price tag, coupled with the fact that they are heavy enough to act as a fairly daunting weapon makes them a bit inappropriate for libraries.
So I guess this is a plea to publishers to make better products if they want our business. Because I really want us to do business with them.