The "Work" Handbook Series: Bookbinding

edited by Paul N. Hasluck

Cassell and Company, 1902
Reprinted in 1920

readability rating
3 star readability rating The prose style is dated and the illustrations sparse, but this book gets an enormous amount of information across.
content rating
3 star content rating This book has a little of everything from binding to marbling and finishing.

My dad bought this book at the Oxfam bookshop in Durham. Considering its age, and original cheapness, the paperback was in remarkably good condition: it was still intact and the pages had not crumbled. It was signature-sewn, and the threads were just holding together. It had one reading left in it before it came apart.

I have since rebound it, not entirely successfully. Mind you, the rebind would have been worse if I'd followed Hasluck's advice and used sunken cords.

The Good Stuff
This is a comprehensive, workmanlike book. It doesn't take things slowly like most craft books of the last forty years or so. Instead, the pace of the book presumes that the reader will go off and practice the techniques described.
Could Do Better
The book advocates only one binding style, sewing on sunken cords. This is generally frowned on by find binders these days.
Also, the text quite often recommends products and materials by now-obsolete names. It will take some research to track everything down if I decide to use the recipies themselves. A more generic approach would have lasted better.
Best Bit
The book advocates the observational approach. It encourages binders to dissect old books to learn how they're put together.
I was working on hand sewn headbands, and looked them up in the book. (Conservationists look away now.)
The best way to learn to make a headband will be to take an old one to pieces.
My table is covered in thread, and I am still unenlightened.