It would be hard to describe every nuance of the various bindings available. The first books were created not just for reading but they were designed to show the artistic genius of the typographer, printer and binder. Books were for wealthy and educated clients who willingly paid for beautiful volumes.
Today the art of bookbinding continues with tools similar to the oldest binding utensils. See this nice overview of craftsman binding for more information.
Most probably your interest is in something less storied but more affordable. Books can be bound on machines that produce over 10,000 books per hour, affordably and of very high quality.
You probably have an idea about how you’d like your book bound, so let's just take a quick look at the more common options: