I’M ON A TREASURE HUNT. I’m tired of hearing people say there are “no good books left.” Yes, the market is inundated right now, but I’m on a mission to find the best literary fiction out there provided by the “little guys.” I’m digging through the muck to find rare gems: meaningful and culturally significant literature that engages and says something more than vampire love.

Today the book market is dominated by Amazon and big publishing houses, so I want to give a nod to the small presses who are fighting the good fight. ALL the books I read here have been published by small presses and (whenever possible) purchased from local bookstores.

You won’t find negative reviews here. The market is too vast to waste anyone’s time with bad reviews. Rather, you will find that I am selective about the books I read, and if I don’t like something, I won’t review it. In other words, I won’t give you the dirt, only the plunder.

I will be posting quarterly book recommendations for writers, avid readers, and anyone who thinks good literature is dead. I will also have "Throwback Thursdays" to show some of my old book collection to promote the preservation of classic stories and the art of beautiful bookbinding.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

#tbt…Is Bookbinding a Dead Art with the Invention of eReaders?

No! Printing and bookbinding is not a dead art - in fact, in its rarity, it becomes more of an art. Every year, my hometown hosts a small press book fair to show some of the unique books being printed out there. Some publishers also print "collectible" editions of books to last a long time. I also recently received a book that was leather-bound, printed by Easton Press, which focuses on creating high-quality, lasting books.

I have a Coleridge book that was printed in 1995, and I know it will last long past its centennial in 2095, so I can pass "Kubla Khan" and the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" to my kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. The book is leather with gold engravings, pages painted gold. The only difference from the old books is that the pages aren't hand-cut, so they are smoothly intact.

As enchanting as old things are and intriguing their pasts, I'm not opposed to printing new books in the old way. It's wonderful when books can last 100+ years, but paper isn't made to last ages past that. My book of Whittier abolitionist poems from the late 1800s is falling to pieces, to the point where I'm afraid to open it. The pages have all detached from its glue binding. But the cover is beautiful - hand painted and still vibrant. My point is we don't necessarily need to preserve the books forever; but we should preserve the art of creating quality books.

1 comment:

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