In this age of mass produced paperbacks and e-readers we can often take our reading material for granted. Pages glued to their covers in what printers refer to as perfect bind, shiny covers designed to catch the eye, all uniformly produced to stack neatly on the shelves. In the early days of the ‘cheap’ paperback people were known to tear out a page as they read it and throw it away. That is not to say we don’t treasure our books, we are bibliophiles after all. Every now and then I see a beautifully designed book that I just want to hold, but I can’t help thinking that maybe something has been lost.
William Blake famously used to produce his own books, from making his own ink, to printing the pages, he even got Mrs Blake to sew on the covers. I have often wondered why he went to so much effort. I think this video has answered that question.
If you’ve ever wondered how books were produced before the age of digital print, then watch this short film, as it takes you through the process of how books are printed, paged, and bound. It is an absolute joy to watch the art form that is bookbinding.