Friday, September 10, 2010

How to Open a New Book

Next time you come to the shop and buy a new book, you might want to follow the advice from this old instructional graphic. I am not sure how old this is, but I love the quote from William Matthews, who is "the most famous bookbinder America has produced". (I found a listing for his shop from a New York City directory published in 1859 - 107 Franklin, in Flatbush) Apparently he took his bindings pretty seriously. Here is his description of a harrowing experience with an uncivilized customer: "Taking the volume in his hand, and, holding the leaves tightly together (instead of allowing them full play), he violently opened it the center, exclaiming: 'How beautifully your bindings open!' I almost fainted." Simply shocking!

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