Picture cover

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A picture cover spine

"Picture cover" is a common term among book collectors. Many early series books and later children's books have this binding, as do most modern textbooks.

It is a method of bookbinding that preserves the contents as well as a normal hardbound book, but has the visual appeal of a paperback book.

The pages are collated, stitched and trimmed as for hardbound, but a cover with a picture on it is attached instead of the normal hardbound cover with printing on the spine — and perhaps front.

A hardbound book can achieve a similar look with a dust cover, but the cover is fragile and inconvenient when reading, being most useful while the book is shelved.