Wednesday, December 2, 2015


I've made books and not photographed them. I haven't posted on here for awhile but I was reminded the other day of a question I often got. "Can the books you make actually be used?"

So here are my two To-Do books to illustrate that Yes. YEs. YES. They can be used!

My fellow bookbinder friend lives in one place from year to year and thus spends a lot more on her materials than I do. One holiday break spent at her place, she offered me some of this vegan leather. I took her up on the offer immediately, this is buttery smooth and pricy...and very durable. I use this book about once a month and it looks more or less the way it does when I first made it. 
bound in twisted kettle and link
with decorative endpapers pasted to the cover
But you'd expect this book to last wouldn't you. It is made of good quality material and is only carried to and fro once a month. I continually stress that bookbinding is really a hobby you can do anywhere with any materials so here's the next example.
This cover is standard card stock, aprox. 100gsm with this stupid 'leather' grain effect that I quite detest but was the only choice. This was a test print of the linoblock (it got some modifications for the final use) but I realized I needed a new book so it become this cover.
The binding is a 3-thread 'modified leather binding' with the threads braided to form the closure. You may notice an extra loose loop there. That happened when the book got caught by a cat who would not let go. It has not affected the book's use.

Here you can see the traces of wear on the cover. It has been wet, bent, the aforementioned cat, and generally not treated all that well. But then again, this book has been in daily use for almost a year. It is continually shoved in and out of bags and carried through a variety of archaeological environments (i.e. filthy places). My fieldnotes and ogami notebooks have cleaner interior pages but the covers, quite frankly look the same amount of beat up.
So you can see that I mean it. Even the simplest books made out of the cheapest/only available options can be completely usable and durable.
Make books! Use them!

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