Split Board Books

Sometimes, I like to make books. In fact, I love to make books. There is an attention required to bind a book, create all of its parts, fold paper, cut boards that makes it a very satisfying endeavor. Making books requires a person’s full attention. When your attention is elsewhere measurements are off, glue gets everywhere, you forget to use your notes. I made these after just such a failure. I managed to bind and cover four hard case books over the course of a weekend and to fail at each one. I use one of those, now, for my notetaking.

Below are some photographs of split board books. I made these as described in Alisa Golden’s Making Handmade Books. These are extremely satisfying books to make but time consuming as well. There are parts that I like (e.g., the book cloth spine) and parts that are less pleasing (i.e., the space between the book block and boards where one can see the materials used to bind the book). I find that dissatisfying but a challenge and puzzle to spend time thinking about. However, these are very serviceable books and handsome, I think, in their own right.

These two books – always make at least two – were made using 2-ply board (cover & spine), lokta paper (cover), hand-dyed text-weight Mohawk Superfine (end sheets), text-weight Mohawk Superfine (text block), handmade book cloth (great tutorial here), waxed linen thread, and lots of glue. Lots and lots of glue.

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