from the . . . . oven: not books

this is some bread I bound in my home bindery in. you, too, can bind this bread. all it takes is four ingredients, a cast iron container with a lid,  500 degrees, and about 5 minutes of prep time. oh, and parchment paper. true. i learned many surprising things at bookbinding school.


from the lab: things you've missed out on this last year

rubber shoes protect you from germs!

affectionately referred to as "rocket monk"

best cosette placement ever

one year older and wiser, too?

after a nearly 14-month unintended hiatus i am ready to re-enter the blogosphere with tales and visuals of book-o-rama.

things have changed in this year--like my age. and they have stayed the same--like where i live and who i spend the bulk of my free time with. most significantly, i am now, as of a month ago, a full-fledged and full time conservator in the library. which means i magically know absolutely everything there is to know or ever will be to know about book conservation. quite a transformation, i know! i'm now a chemistry wizard and speed demon genius at paring leather and all tooling techniques....

...only in the cartoon version of life.

really. it means i now have an office. (!) it means i have to swipe my card through a temperamental card reader to enter my office and work space. it means i make twice as much money and actually have health and dental benefits. it means i work with valuable, rare books and documents and 100-year old chalkboards signed by Karl G. Maeser. it means that i--with my energetic new boss--have a chance to make a smashing huge and brilliant difference in the library.

remember flora in the story Cold Comfort Farm? her hobby and passion is to tidy things, people, and places. right now, my new colleague and i are like flora for the library and the cause of preservation that has gone long neglected. i'm here and ready and excited to tidy. i find great satisfaction in mending not only books but dysfunctional situations and broken systems of communication. not only do i have a mission, now i finally have the means, authority, and resources to accomplish it.

....and once i have accomplished my tidying, i will vanish into the night.


from the bindery: another long-winded masterpiece from the late 19th century

Title page, 1897-style. This one's quite brilliant. Be sure you read the whole thing 


from the bindery: icelandic books

several books bound in iceland came to book repair recently. they were some of the most unique bindings i've seen come into shop, crudely bound in curiously homemade ways. take a look:

from the bindery: what happens when a book falls down the elevator shaft


from the bindery: book mobile

the latest in the bookmobile project--the flying covers!