by Leslie on May 27, 2011

My husband’s grandfather, Joe, loved books. His love was so deep and profound that he couldn’t stand to see books falling apart and took it upon himself to rebind them, giving them a new life. It didn’t even have to be a book he was particularly fond of, he felt that any book was worthy and deserved respect. He passed on his love of books to his grandson along with this amazing collection he rebound.

I am always drawn to bold patterns, so I love his choices of book cloth. The orange book on the left is my favorite.

The prettiest part of a lot of these books is the paper he used inside. Again, the patterns are gorgeous.

We also inherited his book press. It’s massive and weighs a ton, but I love the look of it. So far I’ve only used it to press flowers and wrinkled papers, but I intend to take a bookbinding class. I can’t have a huge piece of equipment in our tiny apartment and not use it!

Crafts that can be passed down to the next generation have a special place in my heart. Every day when I pull my tattered quilt around me, admiring my grandmother’s perfect stitches and fabric choices, I think of her and the love she put into everything she made. In the same way, I feel so honored to have this collection in our home, each book a piece of art reminding us of Joe’s passion.

Update: Grace at Design*Sponge posted a story on bookbinding today too.  Click here to see Sonya Sheats stunning, modern work.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

HHC May 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Very cool… Kate and I have some books that we might need your services on.


Louise May 29, 2011 at 11:47 am

Beautiful. And the endpaper on the bottom left is paper he “marbled” himself. Grandpa Joe is smiling down for sure.


Lea Lyon May 30, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Hi Leslie,
I love this post about my Uncle Joe’s love of books and book binding. Every time I visited tham from California I thought how cool it would be to be locked in their house alone for a week and just read. Of course, I brought a number of books home last time and haven’t read them yet. But, I see the books he bound sitting in pride of place on my shelf and think of him – and his love of books, and, obviously, fabric and pattern.

Hope you are both well and happy. I’ll keep looking at this blog now that I know about it. I, too, enjoy fabric and crafts and such – and, of course, painting.



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