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Essential Bookshelf for Bookbinders

The other day I needed to buy a present for a young bookbinder’s birthday. I searched on line for one of my favorite books: Books, Boxes, & Wraps, by Marilyn Webberley and JoAn Forsyth. This book was published in 1995 and it is already no longer available, unless you go the used book route and spend over $60. I did find unbound signatures for sale at Talas. Giving signatures to a new binder to work with seemed a little punitive for a birthday present. This book, would have been the perfect gift for a new binder because the authors introduce a lot of concepts and creative ideas on handling covers structures in general that would be useful to anyone practicing book arts. Other books since then have presented similar material in a more glossy format (BB&W is a single color book with line drawings), but the bulk and scope of the information hasn’t been matched in one volume.

The disappointment I felt at not being able to find this book made me stop and think about what books I considered useful or essential in my own life as a bookbinder. These are books that I don’t lend to people because I can’t afford emotionally (or financially now it seems) to lose them; they aren’t replaceable.

I thought I would compile a list of helpful books so that people looking to build a bookbinding reference bookshelf would have some titles to seek out and examine. These books may not appeal to everyone. These books are not in general about making projects. I don’t like project books. There are plenty of those how-to books out there and many are excellent. But the books on my list for the most part talk about the making of structures and the adapting of them to your own needs. I find these books more useful and more interesting.

I will be making this post a page so that it will be easier for people coming later to my blog to locate it. If you return and can’t find the list, I suggest you look under "pages" in the left column of the blog.

So, without further fanfare, books I think everyone should read, and if possible, have on hand.

Essential Bookshelf for Bookbinders

The other day I needed to buy a present for a young bookbinder’s birthday. I searched on line for one of my favorite books: Books, Boxes, & Wraps, by Marilyn Webberley and JoAn Forsyth. This book was published in 1995 and it is already no longer available, unless you go the used book route and […]

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