Ever thought about taking a book binding class? I took one a few years back, I thought it would be a snap, but it wasn’t as easy as I hoped. The hardest part? Keeping things STRAIGHT. Ever since, I have a sincere appreciation for book binding and the book arts in general and was therefore absolutely thrilled to come across the ‘Little Book of Bookmaking’ by Charlotte Rivers, a really interesting new publication by Potter Craft Publishing.

The book format is a handy square-ish format, at about 7.5 x 7.5 inches it is conveniently little enough to take along in your purse or schlep around your studio workspace - which you will probably want to do. The book content itself is, however, anything but ‘little’. And I mean that in the best possible way.

What is not to love here: Aside from the beautifully non-fussy, clean layout and handy pocket book size, let’s start with the first section, ‘Anatomy of a Book’ which features the typical case bound book in an image that’s really helpful for anyone who is thinking about getting started. I sure wished I had seen this overview before I got started with my own class back in the day. Following that, the author goes through the various how-to’s: folded bindings, sewn bindings, various page and cover treatments, she even covers experimental packaging, tools and materials.

What I like best about this book is that for every technique listed Rivers gives several illustrations which are all examples taken from international book artists’ work. And when I say book artists, I mean it. No pedestrian work in this book, it’s all high caliber, selected with a careful eye towards quality. Bonus segments deal with various paper treatments, a contributor directory, resources, blog listings and a list of more books for inspiration.

All told, this is a great buy for someone who is generally handy and has some craft experience. I would not recommend this for a beginner, it might be a bit too overwhelming. However, if you are generally interested in book making and need a quick push, this book should be high on your list for yourself or a crafty friend.

Purchase details:

Random House

Barnes & Noble


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