How are you and your creative life? This time of year is a change time for lots of people and that can throw your schedules and creative time for a loop. Keeping a little time aside for creative thinking, even if there’s no time for creative doing, can really help. That’s when I turn to my bookshelf and dip into some of my favorite books.
Let’s talk about books…
Books! I love books, especially art journals, and having my own personal library is one key to my creative life. I know, there are tons of You Tube videos you can watch and an endless stream of bits of information on the internet… But, a book is a thoughtful and carefully edited collection of the best and most useful knowledge culled from all that digital noise. I believe that books have a meaningful place in creativity and learning and add to my reading list regularly. So, I’m excited to tell you about one I just found and added to my bookshelf.
After checking it out of the public library – a great way to audition a book before buying! – I decided it was a must-have for my reference and inspiration shelf. It’s “How to Make Books – Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-kind Book” by Esther Smith. The title is perfectly descriptive: it tells you how to make simple, fast and satisfying books with easy to grasp methods. The book itself is a hardback which gives it more substantial presence and the binding and finish are really lovely. Visually, it’s modern graphic style with a great layout and colorful illustrations all printed on a thick matte paper. Physically, it’s a delight to hold and use!
The main reason this book earned a place on my shelf is that the content and ideas are accessible to beginners in bookbinding. It’s not overly technical and fussy like some bookbinding sources. Also, the author is an artist and enthusiastically encourages experimentation and learning as you work through the projects. The project chapters include 2 chapters devoted to books that are only folded; one each for stab-stitch and pamphlet binding; an interesting chapter on combinations, or mutant books as the author calls them; and a chapter each for long stitch and Coptic stitch bindings.
The biggest drawback to the book is also one of its strengths: the artistic layout makes it a little difficult to follow the illustrations for Coptic stitch in the last chapter and one or two other illustrations take a little deciphering. Otherwise, it’s a strong choice for starting book making and creative exploration of the idea of making your own art journals. Read more about it here
and add it to your own library!