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How to Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book

From zines you can fold in a minute to luxurious leather journals and sumptuous sketchbooks, How to Make Books will walk you through the easy basics of bookmaking. Whether you’re a writer, a scrapbooker, a political activist, or a postcard collector, let book artist Esther K. Smith be your guide as you discover your inner bookbinder. Using foolproof illustrations and step-by-step instructions, Smith reveals her time-tested techniques in a fun, easy-to-understand way.

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3 comments to How to Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book

  • Kate Black

    Excellent How-To for Beginners & Intermediates I picked up a copy of “How To Make Books” in a bookshop recently, and I was impressed. I’m already a bookbinder and familiar with most of the projects Smith details within the book, but I whole heartedly recommend this to novices and intermediates.Smith’s hand drawn diagrams have a warmth that many technical manuals overlook, without losing explicitness. Project directions are clear and concise. Her writing has a pleasant conversational tone. And the book is just a joy to hold — the cover is raw bookboard, embossed letters to look like letterpress and a cloth tape spine. The combination of materials is engaging and tactile. I love this book!

  • Rebecca Begley

    Different (in a good way) Love How to Make Books. I’m fairly new to bookmaking but passionate. I have several books on how to make books and had vowed to buy no more, because–except for the older, more traditional books–they were beginning to all look alike. But while recovering from foot surgery (and away from my drafting board but with loads of time), I acquired How to Make Books. Clearly different from the rest. Within 3 hours of getting this book, I had produced an instant accordion, rhyming alphabet book for my great niece. She loves it. This was 2 weeks ago. I’m currently going through this book for the 4th or 5th time. Helping me keep my sanity during a lengthy recovery.

  • Kate "Kate"

    A Great Resource for Teachers Since April is National Poetry Month, I’m creating a new poetry unit. I discovered the Poem in Your Pocket movement, and it dovetails nicely with my latest thrilling book discovery: How to Make Books: Fold, Cut & Stitch Your Way to a One-of-a-Kind Book, by Esther K. Smith. This book would have changed my life when I sponsored the school literary magazine; it still may change my life. Smith calls the first book an instant book, and to me, it is a paper folding miracle. Using an 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of white paper, Smith shows readers how to make eight folds and one cut to have a six page miniature “zine.” No glue. No stitching. The best part? It uses images from only one side of the piece of paper, so feel free to Xerox the content and fold away for cheap and darling mass production. Amazing. One of the big components of teaching writing pedagogy is publication, and this technique makes it easy and satisfying to reach that point. The book has ideas to grow on, too. Just looking at it fosters a love of books…

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