Studio Tour (again) – the library

A lot of the bookbinding skills I’ve developed over the years have come from reading books about bookbinding. Many of them feature the same bindings, but I can’t resist them. I need to have a big fat buffet at my disposal.

So I have an ever-growing library of bookbinding and book/paper-related books.

You can see my collection in the image below. One of the things that alternately irritates me and cracks me up is the saggy nature of my bookshelves. They are simply not strong enough. Part of me really wants to fix them, but the other part of me likes the character they have. Sometimes as an artist, I feel saggy. My bookcase understands me in this way. I feel validated.

Bookbinding library

I need to admit, as you will likely hear this again in future posts – I love love love cheese. I mean I really love cheese.

The banner in the upper left-hand corner of the picture says “Cheese” on it. I had it custom-made for me by Mary Hill. She creates these colorful banners with inspirational words on them. I admired them for a while, but never bought one because I thought that I wasn’t the inspirational type. Apparently I didn’t have the right inspiration – cheese. So I got a cheese banner for my studio.

There’s also a strip of stickers hanging off the second shelf from the top of my bookshelf. It says “I [heart] cheese”. At some point, I will likely make a cheese book, perhaps one that’s edible.

Glad that’s out of the way.

The set of books in the middle of the image below are all by Keith Smith. He writes incredibly detailed tutorials on many different bindings. I consider the guy a scientist. I have to admit that I wrote the guy a fan letter a number of years ago and he actually wrote back to me. I was pretty impressed. And I don’t write fan letters all the time.

Bookbinding books

I can honestly say the only other fan letter I wrote was to the cast of “Diff’rent Strokes” and I got a signed photo from Todd Bridges out of it.

It’s not as cool as the letter from Keith.

One of the neatest things about his books is that you can purchase them from him unbound – he sells batches of loose pages that you can bind yourself.

In the image below, you can see some of my other non-bookbinding books. They are mostly about paper or design techniques like collage or altered art. They are great to look at for inspiration. I suppose it makes sense for a bookbinder to also be a collector [read: hoarder] of books.

Design books and books about paper

If you’re interested in specific recommendations or want to know more about the books I have in my library, just ask. I am more than willing to share my goodies.

2 Responses to “Studio Tour (again) – the library”

By Benj Clark - 5 October 2008 Reply

Do you use LibraryThing? PS, I love your blog. I’m just becoming brave enough to try some simple projects myself. Your posts are inspiring. Thanks!

By elissa - 6 October 2008 Reply

Thanks so much for telling me about LibraryThing – I didn’t know about it. I had been trying to use Shelfari, but won’t allow widgets that use Javascript. LibraryThing seems to have a similar issue, although from what I just found, folks seem to have come up with a workaround.

I’ll have to give it a try. Thanks!


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