I make because…

It seems to me that most of the posts I write here are very factual. I haven’t really talked about why I enjoy making books.

Actually, I don’t know. I don’t know why I specifically like making books. I love making stuff, and I’ve found that making books exercises a number of different skills I have. In fact the actual book making part seems to only take a minor part of my time. Most of the preparation takes longer than the binding process.

I think that if I actually worked out how long it takes me to make the books I’m selling, I’d find that I’m selling them for much less than it costs me to make them, at least in terms of my time.

The wooden books I’m making take ages. I cut the stock wood down to size. I split it by hand with and axe or Froe. I match the front and back cover pieces of wood, then hand shape them using a chisel. This all takes a long time, but I really enjoy the process. I love the fact that I can see the book taking shape in my hands. I can just block everything else out and be in the moment of making something. I even love the feel of the wood in my hand. The final book is a very tactile thing to me. it has to feel good in the hand.

Machines would help me make things faster, and maybe one day I’ll get a band saw, and a panel saw, or a buzzer, or linisher, and I’ll be able to make the book parts faster. But for now I just enjoy working with my hand tools.

Maybe I’d enjoy making other things. I know I’d like to make furniture again, but here and now, I don’t have the space to make full sized furniture. Maybe books are a compromise. Its something I can make with a minimum of space and equipment. But there’s more to it than that. I like books in their own right. Maybe I can explore that more in another post.