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Adventures in Book Binding
I didn't even break it (yet)!
This month I needed a new way to procrastinate, and since I’m a pro at crastination, I indulged in book binding. I needed to send a copy of my manuscript to an accuracy reader who doesn’t do well with screens, and what better way to do this than bind an entire book?
So, my unread emails, dirty dishes and unfolded laundry watched as I picked my way around dusty office boxes to indulge in my new hobby. I gathered my things:
Foam paint brush
Piece of cloth for the spine
Bookpress I got at a yard sale some ten years ago,
that has been attacking my toes every time I walk past itthat I keep stubbing my toes on.
Print of the cover (in progress!)
Printed page signatures
Scroll down for steps…
I started with the page signatures. In order to do the binding I had in mind, one must print several sections in booklet format, and sew them into signatures. You can see them all stacked up in the book press above. I made the mistake of not adding extra pages for glueing the outside signatures to the cover, but I think I cheated sufficiently with some spray glue and cardstock.
The book press finally got properly used
, and enjoyed squeezing the life out of paper instead hitting my toes.
I applied several layers of glue to the spine over the entire day, and ended by pressing fabric to the spine. This I had to leave alone for 24 hours.
The tutorials I read were mixed on whether to glue the spine to the cover, and I decided against it. The reason being, the spine should be flexible, especially if I expect somebody to write in the margins.
Pizza boxes make great softcovers, just saying. I used the existing fold and creased it wider on each side, so that the pages could have room to open properly.
Then I adhered my tentative cover page to the pizza box, glued the outside signature pages to the inside cover, and taped the edges all the way around for good measure.
As with all professional crastinations, I started with the intent of breezing right through, and ended relatively glad I won’t be doing this often. However, it was quite satisfying to hold this book in my hands!
Did I need to, when the person I am sending this to is expected to rip into it?
Did I/anyone else lose life or limb?
Was it fun?
Therefore, it was worth it.
If you want to bind your own book, these are some resources I found helpful:
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