Me and Books

Hand bound book covered with paste-paper

Hand bound book covered with paste-paper

When I was little it was always a big deal to go to the library with my mother. I would get to take two books home to read so I tried to pick something that would last, something with a few chapters. I would spend hours saying ‘hello’ to the books I had already read and then start meeting new friends. My mother would finally drag me to the check-out with my latest finds.

When I grew up I started collecting books, first in subjects that I love: magic and magicians, biographies and history, later I started buying things that were rare, older and more unique. For example, I have Rider’s British Merlin from 1780. In the world of book collecting it is not that old, but this edition is very rare, only a few copies are known to exist.

When I hold a book like that I think of all the history that has happened since it was published. The United States was still being formed; people lived simply, sometimes barely surviving from year to year and there certainly was no conception of all the technology we enjoy today.

A few years ago I started taking classes in the book making arts, particularly bookbinding. In San Francisco we have a place called the San Francisco Center for the Book (www.sfcb.org), where I have taken a few classes. I will post some pictures of books I have made and paper for book covers that I have made. If you live in SF or plan to visit, try to stop by their facility for a tour, always some interesting things on display.

If you are a bookbinder, letterpress printer or just love books like I do, let me know. Show me your favorite project or most prized book. I love seeing that sort of thing and hearing the history of how it came to be.

Have a great weekend!!

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