Cut, assemble, glue, and sew components to bind books.
picture of Bookbinder

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$19,000 – $46,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Bookbinders do?

Cuts, assembles, glues, and sews components to bind books, according to specification, using automatic and manually operated machines, handtools, and equipment: Folds printed sheets to form signatures and assembles signatures in numerical order to form book body. Attaches endpapers to top and bottom of book body. Sews signatures and endpapers together along spine of book body, using sewing machine, or glues endpapers and signatures together along spine, using brush or glue machine. Compresses sewed or glued signatures to reduce book to required thickness, using handpress or smashing machine. Trims edges of book to size, using cutting or book trimming machine or hand cutter. Inserts book body in device that forms back edge of book into convex shape and produces grooves to facilitate attachment of cover. Applies glue to back of book, using brush or glue machine, and attaches cloth backing and headband. Applies color to edges of signatures, using brush, pad, or atomizer. Cuts binder board to specified dimension, using board shears, hand cutter, or cutting machine. Cuts cover material, such as leather or cloth, to specified dimensions and fits and glues material to binder board manually or by machine. Glues outside endpapers to cover. Places bound book in press that exerts pressure on cover until glue dries. May imprint and emboss lettering, designs, or numbers on cover, using gold, silver, or colored foil and stamping machine. May pack, weigh, and stack books on pallet for shipment. May specialize in repairing and rebinding damaged or worn books for resale or reuse.

Should I be a Bookbinder?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Bookbinder Apprentice, Book Mender, Books Binder, Custom Bookbinder, Hand Bookbinder

    How to become a Bookbinder

    Bookbinders generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Bookbinder-related education!
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