New Hobby: Book Making

I’ve been fishing around for something to do as a hobby for while. Making beer, while fun, isn’t something we have the facilities for me to do with any regularity. Plus, it’s kind of a pain in the ass (sorry brewers, it is). J– had recently turned our spare bedroom into a writing room, which freed up a corner in the den. I quickly set up a card table, decked it out with a random Ikea shelf that had been sitting in a corner, and instantly realized I had nothing to do with the space.

A couple failed trips to Riders Hobby store later, I knew I wouldn’t be building model planes or cars anymore. I really enjoyed doing it as a kid, but I felt no passion for building what are, essentially, toys. I still don’t have quite enough space or money to bump up to making model sailing boats or R/C planes, so I found myself adrift without options.

But then, due to a random conversation at work, I was Googling for more information about making books. I watched some videos, browsed the few websites that are out there, and then a planned trip to Hollanders in Ann Arbor. Soon, I found myself in possession of a bone folder and some supplies.

I spent a couple tense hours measuring, cutting, gluing, and fretting as I assembled my first book; a deckle-edged, blank-paged journal with a cover cut from a map of the world. It an amateur’s job, which goes with my skill level. But I loved it and I wanted to make more books. I love the feel of books and the fact that I can create them taps into a visceral part of me, that part that used to hang out in my dad’s shop, breaking all his tools and cutting up his stock of wood.

This past weekend, I made book number two: a conventional, lined journal with a book cloth edge. It’s constructions is slightly better than the first book; practice makes perfect, right? I had planned to spread the construction out over the weekend, but I managed to finish it the same day I bought it.

I think I’ve found a hobby.

My First Two Books; 1st one on the bottom

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