I think that my expectations for Bookforms–put together by the Center for Book Arts, Ana Cordeiro, Celine Lombardi, Sarah Smith, and Elizabeth Sheehan–were a bit unrealistic when I picked up this book. For some reason I had it in my head that reading this book was going to genuinely give me some insight into how to create bound books entirely on my own to the degree that I would easily be able to do so. Instead it made me gain a massive amount of respect for those who make books and despair somewhat at what I believe to be my own inability to create a book that actually looks decent. And, to be fair, my desire and determination to be able to do so was certainly a whimsical sort of fantasy that I know, deep down, I was fully aware that I probably would not be doing any time soon if at all. What Bookforms does offer, however, is nothing short of magical to a book lover.
I’ll admit that I didn’t care, particularly, for the history piece of the book though I do understand its importance. But the truth is that I picked this book up to learn how to bind a book of my own and not to look back on how book binding began. Fortunately the bulk of the book does focus specifically on the area that I did want to learn. Unfortunately, I found myself overwhelmed at all the specialized tools, the intricacies that I don’t have the equipment or skill for that goes into making books. Some processes of bookmaking are simple but do not look exactly as I would like them to, while others are complex and difficult, though quite beautiful.
No matter what, it is very clear that this sort of thing takes practice. But it is also clear that it takes money, something I personally do not have at the moment. And I think the fact that I couldn’t go out and simply put together a book that looks like the ones which sit on my shelf was disheartening, though not surprising. I found this book to be deeply informative and definitely appreciate having read it. And perhaps one day in the future I will finally find myself binding a book of my own as that, my friends, is the dream.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.