1) Create your loose leaf pages punch two holes on the binding side. Use a long object(stick, pencil, nail) relating to the text as the binding device. A rubberband goes though the holes and over the object, which lays on the front. I've done this with 1st thru 6th graders.
2) Accordion fold book.Precut squares of matboard to about 2 or 3 inches square. Cut strips of paper to a width of the same size as the squares. Students glue one end of the strip to the square, then fold back and forth (add as many strips as you want, then glue on back cover) I've done this with 1st thru 6th graders
Hope this helps. You said something about "real" books- Keep in mind that accordion fold books and scroll type books have been around longer than codex books! There are many forms of real books. Good Luck,
Des Moines, IA