I’ve always loved books and have always wanted to learn how to make them myself.
For a few years I’ve worked at a small copy-/printshop and there we had gluebinding machines and wirebinding machines and guillotines and all the tools of a professional small-scale industrial setup. But while I enjoyed making perfect-bound books and relished the productive possibilities of the infrastucture I could use for my own stuff, I longed for more … substantial bookbinding skills.
After moving away from the Copyshop, losing access to all those machines and tools made me very sad. I enjoyed making all these weird digital/physical hybrids and putting all my weird glitchart into the real world and so I started to build my own infrastructure. Build the means of production, if you will.
Over the last years, I’ve done just that:
I inherited a laser printer that works ,.. ok. It’s not the professional powerhouse I had access to at the copyjob, but it gets the job done.
I learned to make stickers using label paper and cold-laminate, cutting them by hand.
I (recently) aquired a wirebinding machine for dirt-cheap, so I can make booklets like that.
But more importantly than all that: I’ve taught myself how to bind books on my own!
No machines (besides a printer), just me, some unpowered tools and some glue. (Also materials like thread, and greyboard, and book linen, and and and…) And I love the results, The books feel good and look nice and read and leaf well. With every book I make I get better and I can experiment more, trying new materials and techniques. Since I bought a book press, I can trim textblocks by hand and get the edges nice and crisp and so, so smooth. I started myking my own paste papers and book cloth for cover my books and steadily my collection of nice papers to use in my books grows.
I’ve bound rpgs and novels and journals and blank books, for myself and for others and it has given me so much joy.
So here is a small collection of books I’ve made and I plan to make many, many more.