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.