Book (binding) geekery

So at Kindling Words West last year, Alison James had us all make our own bound notebooks using Japanese stab binding. I generally think of myself as a not-crafty person (the glue and glitter were the scariest part of being a scout leader for me), and so was surprised at how, well, satisfying it was to stitch a book together. Alison wisely insisted we all use our books at the retreat — because of course the temptation once one creates a pretty notebook is to want to save it for something special, and so never use it — and that was actually the thing that kind of got me hooked.

I filled/wore out the notebook I made that weekend with Bones of Faerie sequel notes, found I wanted to continue filling notebooks I made myself, and so went off, gathered some supplies, and made another one. I’m using that new notebook for my writing notes now.

I played with cardboard and tissue paper and stitching a while more, then picked up Heather Weston’s Bookcraft, which guides one through successively more complicated bookmaking projects, and learned how to stitch basic book signatures — the building blocks for most hardcover books.

And then today, I bound one of my signatures into my very first hardbound book.

There’s something very satisfying about creating a real little hardbound book.

Fun stuff. And making notes in my own books has reminded me how much blank pages have always been thinking places for me, both story-thinking and more general life-thinking. It hasn’t quite gotten me back to journaling, but it has gotten me back to working out more of my thoughts on paper.

I think I may have found my new obsession-of-the-moment. 🙂

(Pictures of more books here.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *