Florian asked, in a comment, what my most commonly used bookbinding reference books are. Below is a list, which is heavily weighted to my current interests in early nineteenth century American bookbinding. The books below serve a variety of purposes for me. Some contain a quick review of structural history and others are key primary references. Some are a basic starting point for more in-depth research and others are a handy source of images to show clients. Anyone else have some favorites?
Appleton’s Dictionary of Machines, Mechanics, Engine-Work and Engineering. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1852.
Baker, Cathleen A. From the Hand to the Machine: Nineteenth-Century American Paper and Mediums: Technologies, Materials and Conservation. Ann-Arbor, Michigan: The Legacy Press, 2010.
Bearman, Frederick, Nati H. Krivatsy, and J. Franklin Mowery. Fine and Historic Bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Washington, DC: The Folger Shakespeare Library, 1992.
Bennett, Stuart. Trade Bookbinding in the British Isles, 1660-1800. New Castle, Deleware and London: Oak Knoll Press and The British Library, 2004.
Bloom, Jonathan M. Paper before Print. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
Blumenthal, Joseph. The Printed Book in America. Hanover, New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Library, 1989.
Bookbinding in America, 1680-1910. From the Collection of Frederick E. Maser. Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania: Bryn Mawr College Library, 1983.
Bosch, Gulnar, John Carswell, and Guy Petherbridge. Islamic Bindings & Bookmaking. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1981.
Carter, John. ABC for Book Collectors, 7th ed. Revised by Nicholas Barker. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 1995.
Comparato, Frank E. Books for the Millions: A History of the Men Whose Methods and Machines Packaged the Printed Word. Harrisburg, PA: The Stackpole Co., 1971.
Darley, Lionel. Bookbinding Then and Now. London: Faber and Faber, 1959.
De Hamel, Christopher. The Book: A History of the Bible. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2001.
Edlin, Herbert L. What Wood is That? A Manual for Wood Identification. New York: Viking, 1969.
Foot, Mirjam M. Bookbinders at Work: Their Roles and Methods. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2006.
French, Hannah D. Bookbinding in Early America. Seven Essays on Masters and Methods. Worchester: American Antiquarian Society, 1986.
Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. New Castle, Delaware and Winchester, UK: Oak Knoll Press and St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1995.
Gascoigne, Bamber. How To Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Ink-Jet. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1995.
Gould, F.C. The Mechanization of Bookbinding. London: Master Bookbinders’ Association, 1937.
Harrison, Thomas. “The Bookbinding Craft and Industry” London: Pitman,  Facsimile in “The History of Bookbinding Technique and Design”. Ed. Sidney F. Huttner. New York: Garland, 1990.
Herbert, Luke. The Engineer’s and Mechanic’s Encyclopedia. London: Thomas Kelly, 1841.
The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 A.D. Baltimore, Maryland: The Trustees of The Walters Art Gallery, 1957.
Hoadley, R. Bruce. Identifying Wood: Accurate Results with Simple Tools. Newtown, Connecticut: Taunton Press, 1990.
Knight, Edward. American Mechanical Dictionary. New York: J.B. Ford and Co., 1874.
Krupp, Andrea. Bookcloth in England and America, 1823-50. New Castle, Deleware and London and New York: Oak Knoll Press, The British Library, The Bibliographical Society of America, 2008.
Lehmann-Haupt. The Book in America: A History of the Making and Selling of Books in the United States. New York: R.R. Bowker Co., 1952.
Lehmann-Haupt, Hellmut, Ed. Bookbinding in America: Three Essays. New York: R.R. Bower Co., 1967.
Mayer, Ralph. The Artist’s Handbook of Materials and Techniques, 5th Ed., Revised and Updated. New York: Viking, 1985.
Middleton, Bernard C. A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique. London: Hafner, 1963.
Pearson, David. English Bookbinding Styles, 1450-1800. London and New Castle: The British Library and Oak Knoll Press, 2005.
Pollard, Graham and Esther Potter. Early Bookbinding Manuals: An Annotated List of Technical Accounts of Bookbinding to 1840. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1984.
Posner, Raphael and Israel Ta-Shema. The Hebrew Book: An Historical Survey. Jerusalem: Keter House Publishing, 1975.
Ramsden, Charles. London Bookbinders 1780-1840. London: Batsford Ltd., (reprint), 1987.
Ramsden, Charles. Bookbinders of the United Kingdom (Outside London) 1780-1840. London: Batsford Ltd., (reprint), 1987.
Ramsden, Charles. French Bookbinders, 1789-1848. London: Batsford Ltd., (reprint), 1989.
Spawn, Willman and Thomas E. Kinsella. Ticketed Bookbindings from Nineteenth-Century Britain. Bryn Mawr and Deleware: Bryn Mawr College Library and Oak Knoll Press, 1999.
Szirmai, J.A. The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1999.
Thomlinson, William and Richard Masters. Bookcloth: 1823-1980. Cheshire: Dorthy Tomlinson, 1996.
Tomlinson, Charles. Cyclopaedia of Useful Arts, Mechanical and Chemical…. London: Virtue & Co., 1868.
Ure, Andrew. Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines: Containing a Clear Exposition of their Principles and Practice. 2nd. Ed. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1840.
Wolf, Richard. Marbled Paper: Its History, Techniques and Patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.