The book covers are the parts of a book that, usually covered with fabric , leather , parchment or paper , protect the book block from bumps and damage. To ensure this, they usually protrude slightly beyond the book block. They are part of the book cover and the book cover . The front book cover (the title page of the book) is called the front cover or front cover , the rear (final) book cover is called the back cover . In between sits the spine of the book , not covered here .
The book covers are now made of gray cardboard or a thin cardboard, sometimes made of PVC . Modern book covers are often printed with text and images.
Wood, often beech or oak wood ( wooden cover tape ) has been used for book covers since the Middle Ages . Wooden lids received a special treatment for fastening the frets, clasps or other fittings . This practice lasted into the 18th century, but has increasingly shifted to the use of cardboard lids since the Renaissance. The choice of material was dependent on the size and weight of the book. For his needs, the bookbinder glued the cardboard together from several layers of waste .
The book covers were often decorated with elaborate embossing , gilding , leather inlay , leather coverings , gold and silversmiths and ivory plaques ( ivory carving ). A so far unique variant consists in the product design of the 20th edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia , for whose book cover André Heller provided several inset, small acrylic showcases. Objects visible from the outside are inserted into it, each of which embodies a key word from the volume in question. The objects change or are limited in number, so that each book is unique in terms of design .
Until today's book form developed, the book covers were attached to bookbinding , i. H. pegged with frets . Each book cover was made by hand on the book. It was only through the development of the cover tape that it became possible to manufacture the book cover with the book covers separately. At the end of the 19th century, this made it possible for the first time to use book cover machines for the industrial production of books.