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To bind or not to bind? Considering converting my loose single National Geographics into bound copies. Your thoughts/comments plus some general questions.

Hey everyone. I have been thinking it over, and have been strongly considering turning my copy of national geographics (1974-2015) into bound books.

Now before you tell me to stop and not do it, I will let you know that my brother has an intact (and more pristine) copy between 1974-present (as he is still a subscriber) and we have made a general agreement that we (and kids/grandchildren in the future) will have equal access to all our possessions, as we feel that that is the right thing to do.

I feel if I didn't have my brother with his extra copy I probably wouldn't want to bind them up either, but as we essentially have two copies of the same thing, we thought my copy can go down the binding path.

Now my plan is, to have it bound in the way that Melvin has guided to be the best method of binding (i.e. Chronological order, cover intact, no ads removed, index, supplements, back cover, etc. all present) and done in 6 month intervals due to size constraints (Jan-Jun and July-Dec per year).

The reason I am strongly thinking of doing this is:
1. Longevity, if I want the magazines to be read and enjoyed instead of looked at from the shelf, this will prevent them from deteriorating so quickly.
2. Being able to bind them in the style I want them (as of course bound copies in the past would be without covers or ads, and it is beleived to generally have less value).
3. Easier to transport when moving houses. As you may imagine, one book is far less cumbersome than 6 seperate delicate magazines.

Due to cost, I am considering doing it in cloth instead of leather (and the person I contacted for a binding quote assured me that the premium cloth that he uses will ensure the books last forever), although if I am going all out, should I reconsider it in leather?

Further, due to the pricyness of this procedure ($60 AUD per 6 months but he said he will arrange it slightly cheaper after making a deal) this would be a long term project that I would undertake. Maybe over 10 years.

My question to you all then is:

1. Has anyone here bound their recent copies of National Geographic? I feel a lot of people buy bound copies that were bound in their era, but don't do it nowadays, especially with the newer issues.
2. Am I crazy? Should I back off and just buy plastic covers to preserve the magazines?
3. Cloth vs. leather? Will a cloth book last 100 years, while leather will last 500? Should I consider the upgrade?
4. Will the value of my collection deteriorate? I feel that since my copy is from mid 70s to present, that it doesn't really have much value to begin with, as compared to the earlier issues. But will this plummet its value even further? Not that I plan to sell, but moreso out of curiosity. Even if I am injecting $60 per 6 months, will the value go from $6 (let's say $6 for 12 issues in one year for magazines after mid 1970s) to $126 (i.e. cost of binding for the year plus its initial value) or will the two books from that year be lucky to sell for $1 each, and hence me figurativly flushing money down the toilet? Would anyone actually buy a 1975 bound copy of Jan-Jun for $63 dollars excluding shipping? ($48~ approx in USD). Looking at Melvin's guide, this appears not to be the case.
5. A little bit out there, but would it be crazy for me to try to bind the magazines myself? I.e. buy all the materials, cloth, leather, instruments, ingredients, and have a go myself? Or is that a recipe for disaster?
6. There is the issue of the spine that has the main stories along the issues (with the red highlight indicating a supplement is included). Would I want to preserve these somehow? Add them to the books spine?

Any thoughts or comments or suggestions are quite welcome.

Thank you all for your time.

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...yes, completely blank. It is common, (or, not uncommon at least) to find in those pre-1914 years that members would write the month/year on the spines themselves, particularly for the Feb. 1910 - Jan. 1914 period. 

Normally such writing on covers/spines of books & magazines is my personal pet peeve, and yet . . . I find that era's penmanship often charming --and therefore-- somehow more acceptable. (old style penmanship is a lost art, so now I am happy to see it when I come across it)

The reason I single out 1910-1914 is that it was the Feb. 1910 issue where the debut of the yellow border (along w/ oak & leaf bordering, + laurel atop, bottom) appeared. The light color of spine, combined w/ the then ever-becoming thicker issues, and the increasing membership made it more conducive to writing legibly on the spine, as well as more members, so that statistically it was more likely to have a % of copies w/ such hand ID-ing on them.

* see ---->

{ argh, the site's acting up again, so looks like my link won't work, but you can try it. Otherwise, type in ' February 1910 ' in the search and you'll find in the first 2 results either mine or Phil's posted image of the front cover of Feb. 1910 }

Haha very interesting. Well if I ever find a 1910 February, and it has some nice writing on it, I will be sure not to bind it. ;)



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