A well known result of Giroux tells us that isotopy classes of contact structures on a closed three manifold are in one to one correspondence with stabilization classes of open book decompositions of the manifold. We will introduce a stabilization-invariant property of open books which corresponds to tightness of the corresponding contact structure. We will mention applications to the classification of contact 3-folds, and also to the question of whether tightness is preserved under Legendrian surgery.