Book ~ definition

I plan to write a short note here over my perceived confusion amongst readers as to 'What is a book?' My worry arose when advertising my bookbinding courses. Some folk envisaged coming away from a day's course with a full leather ~ gilt tooled ~ fine binding. There are many short courses that promise students that they would leave at the end of the day with a bound book. I did attend one where I came home with a really good book ~ with multi-sections ~ sewn on cords ~ rounded back ~ leather half binding ~ at the end of the day. It was a rush, and over ran the advertised time by an hour, but could rightly be called a book. Other courses offer a single section case-bound book, or even just a single section booklet (whatever that is). That is not really 'learning bookbinding'.

My way out of my problem was to call my course a Bookcraft course. That enabled me to spend a day, I think it was in the ninth week, covering box making (as a prelude to slip covers), and meant sthat zig-zag, concertina books and other not-so-bookish items could be covered. That is why on numerous pages of this bloggy set of screeds I favour the use of the word bookcrafters. It is a bit cumbersome but I know of no other that suits. All this is also out of respect for the many true bookbinders in this country, who have served an apprenticeship of five or so years ~ and been on the bench for another five. They really are able to produce books.


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