Cocked, Cracked, Shaken and Gone


Many of us whose hands shake and hearts sink whenever we read about the demise of “the book” – the printed book, that is – realize that what we’ll be missing is the heft of the book itself, the feel of it in our hands, the texture of the paper chosen for its pages, the subtle idiosyncrasies of font and text on the page – the whole beautiful physical object. An e-book device might take up less room in our bags when we travel, but think of what disappears along with the weight: Stiched signatures, octavos and quartos and folios, backstrips and glue, cloth-covered boards, blindstamped designs, endpapers, versos, rectos, page edges – deckled, beveled, gilt –  hinges, gutters, and spines – even cocked and cracked and shaken spines. All the vocabulary of bookbinding would disappear along with the books.

Here’s a lovely video about how a printed book – and it looks like a book with heft – is made. The link was passed along to me by Tom Birdseye, a fellow advisor at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Thanks, Tom!

Hope everyone reading this enjoys it as much as I did.




Filed under Uncategorized

4 responses to “Cocked, Cracked, Shaken and Gone

  1. ereagan

    I loved this, Julie. But I almost teared up watching the video.
    I know it was titled “birth of a book”, but it felt and sounded like a requiem to me.

  2. terrypierce

    Loved this, Julie. The beauty of the process coupled with the perfect music made for an emotionally touching video. Thank you–and Tom, too!

  3. terrypierce

    One other thing–I’m saddened to think that decades from now future generations won’t be able to walk into a library and inhale the fabulous smell of books, paper and ink. What would a room full of electronic reading devices smell like?

  4. zaraward

    Thank you for every other great post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal method of writing?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s