I have a book about handmade books in which one artist explains how she makes books from paper and a bone folding tool. That's it. Everything is held together by her folding technique.
I totally forgot about limp parchment bookbinding - the medieval paperback
The pages are sewn to the spine, but the cover is a tougher piece of paper that is folded to size Absolutely no glue involved. Would this be similar to what you are looking for?