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Penny for Your Thoughts

Busy Mind Bindery is a blog dedicated to providing instructional tutorials on book-binding while inviting readers to think about themselves and the world around them.


Ideally, I would like to provide a book-binding tutorial to my readers every week. However, as a full-time student, work begins to pile up. My particular pressure over the past week has been preparing enough stock of books to sell at the Common Ground Fair in Unity, ME. By the time this post is published, the fair will have already past, but it is for the reason of selling books and sharing my love of book-binding that I can write for you only my thoughts this week.

Why is it, after learning a certain skill, that I first think “how can I make money with this?” Is it not possible to learn a skill for fun? That’s what book-binding has been for me, after all. Fun. But I can’t seem to prevent myself from wanting to make a business out of it. Is it because our capitalist society trains us to measure our worth by our monetary gain? Can we not just exist as human beings rather than laborers?

This past summer I spent May and June in a slump. Despite applying for jobs the minute I got back from school, nobody would hire me. Meanwhile, I was making books and mowing my dad’s girlfriend’s lawn once a week. I would have been content to do this all summer. But I was faced with a heavy pressure from my family to get an “actual” job. The longer the application process drew out, the more worthless I felt.

Society puts so much emphasis on working hard to get to where you want to be, but society also prevents certain people from achieving that. Disabled or neuro-atypical people often cannot work for the sake of their own health. Can there be no balance? No in-between of work and play? Is it so wrong to want to feel like an individual rather than a cog in the machine?

What do you think?