The Birth of a Book

Without getting into the paper book-vs-ebook debate (ebook production is certainly less thrilling), we thought this recent video shot by Glen Milner at The Telegraph of Smith Settle bookbinders putting together a limited run, cloth-bound edition of Suzanne St Albans’s memoir Mango and Mimosa to be pretty magical. The writing process has always received plenty of commentary, but the press and its many hands that produce our most revered possessions remain in that mist of the supporting efforts of great endeavours. From The Telegraph's description of the two-minute video:

Here, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the printing plates, the stitching of the “signatures” (folded sections), the pressing and gluing, the adding of the ribbon bookmark and head and tail bands, the making of the final hardcover in green linen cloth and the numbering of the copies. All of it done with great care, much of it by hand.

Watch the video.

Granted, the means of book production, especially on a mass scale, aren't nearly as sexy as Smith Settle's folio editions, and it is nice to know there is still a place on the shelf for hand-bound artistry.

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