Friday, March 29, 2013

Birth of a Book

     Years ago when I lived in Washington, D.C., I took a class offered by the Smithsonian Associates Program on how to make a book. It covered everything involved in the traditional process of book making: folding the paper that would become the book pages, using an awl to pierce five holes in the center of the paper before stitching the pages together, preparing the cardboard for the cover, gluing decorative paper to that cardboard, attaching the cover to the end pages of the prepared book, and applying the spine material that would cover to the whole of it.
     What an experience! It intensified my appreciation of books, and all the possibilities of old and new bookmaking. I still have the book I made years ago. It measures 12"w x 9"h, is filled with fifteen acid-free pages, and is hardbound in hues of paisley blue. I use it for an early collection of wine labels annotated with marginalia about when and where and with whom I sipped those heavenly nectars. I'll always have this book––as a keepsake and reminder of that wonderful experience when I made my first and only book.

     What I did in my creation is different from what you'll see in the short video attached to this Post. Take a few minutes to watch it (allowing time for it to buffer (load up) before you begin to play it). My appreciation for the library of books that reside in my home was renewed and fortified.

(Source: bibliofila)

Have you ever made a book by hand? Do you remember it? Do you still have it? Did it lend to your appreciation of all books?