The thousandth book

6 Aug 13 01

One of the books in this photograph is going to be my thousandth* handmade book, by the time I am done with my bookbinding today.

I started numbering my journals in 2001, when I looked back on the previous 7 years of bookbinding self-study and dogged making, and realised with a pleasant shock that what had begun as a hobby, a trivial fling with the craft, had turned into something I cared very deeply about. When I thought I had developed a unique style of my own, that they were “good enough” to sell, and knew I wouldn’t feel ashamed of them if some other bookbinder were to inspect them, I dared call myself a bookbinder.

The number’s not so terribly importantโ€”signifies neither the beginning nor end of anythingโ€”but I’m going to have a tiny celebration, anyway, by making myself a new journal this month (it will be Book 1,001). And by posting a bookbinding tutorial on this blog, though more about that later…it will take time to prepare.

*I didn’t count the first couple hundred that I had made while I was still learning the basics and making lots of mistakes.

Here’s a bright and sunny little film that shows the bookbinding process, give or take some of the heavy machinery, that all bookbinders know intimately, and love.
This video shows the process of making just one of the many different made-by-hand possibilities that come from the Binding Studio, a bespoke bindery in Auckland, New Zealand.

Directed & shot by Joseph Jowitt
Music by Bonobo


21 thoughts on “The thousandth book

  1. Wow – 1000 books – that is very special. And thanks for posting the beautiful video – agree with dawndancer’s earlier comment – it’s a very therapeutic process to watch. (Nice to find your blog as I’ve always loved making books – but nothing as elaborate as these! and I’m off to Istanbul next week so look forward to being immersed in the ancient art of manuscript making.)


  2. Congratulations! I’m proud to own one of those thousand books, and love it very much. Hope you continue to make thousand(s) more, and I for one would love to see that tutorial – lots of pictures please!!
    Donna x


  3. congratulations on your 1000th book.
    your work is beautiful! and you make it look as it were so easy to do ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Great accomplishment! I’d say you are definitely an expert! And I believe it is good to count! I have been writing a humorous column for several local newspapers for the past 17 years and number them. Next year I will have reached 400!


  5. Congratulations, one thousand books! That is quite an accomplishment. It is fantastic to see what passion and dedication you bring to your art practice! I enjoy following your blog very much.


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