A bookbinding style where the spine and the spine edge of the cover is made of a strong material, usually leather. The rest of the cover is made of a weaker decorative material like paper or cloth.

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Though this style of binding is cheaper than either the full binding or half binding styles, the loss of durability is generally considered not worth the cost saving. Like the half binding style, it was developed in the Victorian era to meet the demand for less expensive bindings that still looked good on the shelf.

However, the tendency to wear and grubbiness on the fore edges quickly made these bindings look ragged. Some wear could be withstood by lining the corners with vellum before putting the covering material on, but the style did not prosper.