Bookbinding: The First Chapter

With the start of class less than a month away, I’ve been preparing in more ways then one. My tools have all arrived, as has the leather and paper I’ll need. I just finished reading Bookbinding and the Care of Books, which you can actually find online for free here. It goes in depth about leather and board binding, which is what I’ll be doing in Summerfield. And also the deleterious effects of tobacco smoke and gas lamp fumes on leather bindings (though at this point it’s harder to find an library which allows either than it is someone who binds books by hand). All this preparation made me itch to get my hands dirty, but I certainly didn’t want to waste any of my leather or good papers playing around.

So I picked up some good quality printing paper, and made a book! (That’s it in the photo, pre-having-its-covers-put-on but post-reinforcing-bit-of-card-being-glued-onto-its-spine.) It’s not a full stitched binding, just a perfect binding. That’s the way most modern books are bound, with the signatures glued together, and no comment¬† on my still-rudimentary bookbinding skills. It’s serviceable. I can use it for my journal of bookbinding adventures still to come–which will hopefully be much more impressive. And I did learn some useful skills:¬† folding, slitting, cutting, pasting, pressing… it all sounds very rudimentary, but it’s just a wee bit ore complex than kindergarten art class.

Hopefully for my next entry I’ll have something much more impressive to show you!






  1. Dylan Kolhoff says:

    Rachel, I love how you are pulling all of your research together into a very cohesive and very cool format. Have fun!