The binding of a book consists of a text block attached to the front and back boards and the spine. The boards and spine are usually covered with leather, cloth, or paper. The materials can be varied to create different types of bindings. Three basic leather binding formats are full, half, and quarter bound. Leather bindings use different animal skins such as calf, sheep, and pig, which are either tanned or treated.
The binding of a book is done in two stages. The first stage is the making of the inner structure. The gatherings of pages are sewn together and the boards are attached. The material used for the covers is then glued to the inner structure. The decoration of the binding, or finishing, is the second step. The work requires special training and equipment and is expensive and time consuming. To create quality work, binders must serve many years in apprenticeships learning the fine art of binding in all its intricacies.
The author's name appears first, followed by title, place of publication, publisher, date, pagination, size (height by width), and notes, including binder and/or bindery.