Bookbinding, contd.

I took the first class on Saturday, three classes behind everyone else because I was on a waiting list and someone dropped out after the course started. This means I get double classes the next three Saturdays so I can catch up with the others. Oh yes, the others: I am by far the youngest student in the class which is a merry group of (mostly) pensioners. Everyone but one woman belongs to my grandparents’ generation, and the one exception is of my parents’ generation. The teacher tells me that not many younger people want to take bookbinding classes, perhaps a sign that the disposable mentality has firmly established itself.

I got started preparing and binding a collection of small booklets of fairy tales I have owned since I was a child and were published before my parents were born. In this first class I learned to repair pages, prepare endpapers, ready the book for binding and hand-sew the signatures together, and also how to take apart a book for rebinding. The teacher recommends having 8-10 books on the go at a time so that I will learn the methods well, so when I got home I scoured my bookshelves and storage room for books in need of rebinding and unbound books that are not so valuable or precious to me that failure or clumsy handiwork will spoil them for me. On Saturday night and Sunday afternoon I sat in front of the TV, watching DVDs of my favourite movies and picking apart book after book. The next step is to repair them as needed so they will be ready for rebinding when I get to class next Saturday.

Here is what I have done so far: The signatures are all bound together, but it still needs some finishing touches before it is ready for the cover. Notice the rust on the edges of some of the signatures? They were stapled together and before I got them they had been stored somewhere damp enough to rust the staples and stain the paper. I only hope the rust will not continue to deteriorate the paper now the cause has been removed.

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BTW, if you’re waiting for me to continue reviewing – I have not read much lately and have additionally been suffering from reviewer’s block (more on that later). I have four author reviews I have started, but all of them are waiting until I finish one more book so I can give a reliable review of the author.


nessie said…
OH MY GOD I am sooo jealous. I have been looking all over montreal for something like this and can not find it at all.

does it help that I am 24 yrs old. still hope right? i am not that old?
Bibliophile said…
I wish you luck in finding a bookbinding course. Bookbinding is such a rewarding hobby. I'd say that at 24 you still have some time to find a course :-)
Perhaps a professional bookbinder will be willing to teach you privately if there are no courses available.

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