by Syl Schulze
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.
As the semester wraps up, I have to regrettably inform you that by the end of this week I will no longer be one of the editors on The River. But, my thought posts and binding tutorials will stay here in the archive for you to look back on. And, if you really want to keep up with me and my books, you can follow me on Instagram @scsbooks!
But since it’s been a while since we thought together, that’s what I would like to do with you this evening. I think the biggest question I encounter in my life and art is “why?” Why do I do what I do? Why do I make books, and why did I choose to share that art with you? I’ve thought about this previously in my post about medieval scriptoria. Or, rather, I ask you to think about it, and how the history of your craft effects how you make your art.
The straightforward answer: I make books because I like to. I enjoy making things with my hands. It’s fun, relaxing, and creates an object that I can use (and sell, and give to friends!)
I think I like making books in particular, as opposed to another type of craft, because I was a writer before a book-binder. And as a reader before a writer, books have always been important to me. I enjoy thinking about what the design or the form of a book adds to its content. I like to contemplate why books look the way they do, and what books have meant for society.
I wanted to share book-binding techniques with all of you because I think book-binding is a useful skill that is not often taught (at least it’s not often taught where I grew up in Maine). In a world where everything is going digital, book-binding is a skill that needs to be preserved or it will be lost. Whether you decide to do it once, take it up as a hobby, or pursue it professionally- by learning how to bind books you are participating in keeping the trade alive.
So as I say goodbye for now, I want to thank you being a participant. Even if you just read my posts and didn’t try the tutorials, or if you followed the tutorials but didn’t read my posts, or if you did both, I’m very grateful for you. I have been honored to be a part of The River this semester, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next.