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VLOG: The Art of Fine Bookbinding

By Leah Dobrinska. Aug 19, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book Making

Few simple things in life are as satisfying as opening the cover and flipping through the pages of a brand new book. This is perhaps exponentially more true for those who work in the art of bookbinding by hand. Indeed, bookbinding is something to behold. Binders must be meticulous with every bit of stacking, folding, glueing, and stitching; and there is also the design aspect of the binding to consider. For those who are unfamiliar with bookbinding, we've compiled a few introductory videos to give you a taste of the beautiful work being done by fine binders.

     
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VLOG: The Art of Wood Engraving and Printing

By Leah Dobrinska. Jul 12, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book Making

Wood engraving is perhaps one of the most amazing art forms known to man. Often, wood engravings are found in older collectible books as well as in modern-day fine press books. But unfortunately, the art form can often be missed in the more mainstream world of book collecting and art. Today we'd like to change that by sharing a collection of videos about the wood engraving process.

     
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The Mystery of Mummy Paper

By Abigail Wheetley. Jan 21, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Book Making

Paper. We grab a scrap to jot down a phone number, we see movie posters, exchange greeting cards, hold paper books in our hands. We come in contact with so much paper, it’s hard to keep track, and this is during a so-called “digital age” when we should be immersed in a nearly paperless world. And yet, it continues to be necessary, wanted, and part of the fabric of our routines and desires.

Imagine now, a world in which we need paper even more, for nearly everything. From communication to profit, paper is necessary. It’s basically the internet of the day, and the civilized world finds itself in desperate need and facing a real shortage. Enter: Mummy Paper!

     
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William Morris and the Kelmscott Press

By Andrea Diamond. Jan 8, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book Making

“Apart from the desire to produce beautiful things, the leading passion of my life has been and is hatred of modern civilization.” – William Morris

In the late 1700s, the industrial revolution took root and quickly propelled society toward a future of consumerism and commoditization. Although this period in history brought about many positive changes in the lives of working class citizens, the era was not without its shortcomings. Beauty was exchanged for practicality, time was equated to money, and the jobs that once needed the skill of human hands could be replicated by machinery. One example of modernization was the printing industry. Books were being produced more mechanically than ever before, which left the pages filled with words but void of soul. A man named William Morris recognized the loss of an art in modern society, and aimed to counter it.

     
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Five Beautiful Books by Nawakum Press

By Matt Reimann. Dec 29, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book Making

Despite what critics and pundits have been warning for years, people like paper. Ebook sales have become stagnant. Everybody, even the college-aged, prefer to read tangible books. Print culture, for the moment, seems to be doing quite well. This environment has been of a particular benefit to one section of the publishing industry, one which has flourished in recent years. In a world of screens and immediate gratification, people are growing more and more attracted to books made by hand. One of the most impressive successes to emerge from this fine press revolution is the Santa Rosa-based Nawakum Press.

     
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Beatrix Potter: A Pioneer in Self-Publishing

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 16, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature, Book Making

When one thinks of Beatrix Potter and her literary legacyher delicate illustrations and charming stories that have delighted children and parents alike for over one hundred yearsone does not necessarily think also of writers like E.L. James, John Grisham, or Edgar Allen Poe. But these writers, though they differ greatly in genre and in time, all have something in common with the celebrated naturalist and storyteller. Each of these writers, like Potter herself, began their literary careers by self-publishing. From her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, to Wag-by-Wall, the last of her stories published in her lifetime, Potter owes her considerable success to her own self-publishing efforts.

     
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Searching for Antiquarian Books in Kyoto

By Audrey Golden. Aug 18, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Book History, Book Making

If you can’t read much Japanese, you’ll likely have some difficulty finding books of any particular authors on your list. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t wholly enjoy browsing in Kyoto’s antiquarian bookstores. Indeed, from Ukiyoe (woodblock prints) to handmade artists’ books, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful objects lining the shelves of the shops in Japan’s former imperial capital.

     
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Small Publishers - Champions of Classic, Strange, and Fine Press Books

By Ben Keefe. Mar 25, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Fine Press, Book Making, Learn About Books

Think of your favorite bookstore. Most likely there’s a section in the store labeled “New Releases.” Here you can find titles from authors that any casual reader will recognize: James Patterson, Stephen King, Janet Evanovich. These books are produced and promoted by their publishing companies which are, especially in the case of those three, very recognizable. However, there is a sea of smaller publishers whose books are worthy of the same limelight. These lesser-known companies produce beautifully bound books, forgotten gems and off-the-beaten-path novels. Here is a selection of small publishers that care passionately about books and often express that love in unique and interesting ways.

     
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The History and Techniques of Marbled Paper

By Katie Behrens. Jan 20, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book History, Book Making

The art of marbling paper is very, very old. Unfortunately, like many historical facts involving paper, no one is exactly sure how old it is. Paper doesn't tolerate the ravages of time like stone or metal. However, historians agree that the technique of marbling has been making paper exceptionally beautiful since 10th century Japan.

     
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A Brief History of the Pop-Up Book

By Lauren Corba. Oct 25, 2014. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Book History, Book Making

Books contain tremendous power. They captivate our minds, change the way we look at the world, and transport us to faraway lands. It seems hardly possible to make books any richer than they already are. However, through the beauty of illustrations and the mechanics of pop-up books, readers of all ages can find an even greater appreciation for literature.

     
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    How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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