Charlotte Rivers' tome creates a world of bookmaking artists, designers, and hobbyists who desire the same thing: to create a book from start to finish. It's a fascinating journey between many pages where one artist creates a book with simple accordion pages and another creates a complex book with creative covers, experimental page dyes, and specialized stitching to bind them all together. Either way, it is artistry encapsulated on every page.
As I mentioned earlier, I was a bit surprised when I flipped open this book. I expected a book on how to make books, which this one does include. However, the first four chapters showcase different artists around the globe and their conceptual creations. The final chapter has all the how-to info about how to create your very own creation.
I was a bit perplexed as I thumbed through the pages. Wasn't this book supposed to show you how to make your own book? It is a book about making books, after all. Each book creation is beautiful, but they seem incredibly complex for a beginner to even attempt. These designers have spent years mastering their craft and I'm just looking to possibly create a simple book with some pages in it. I love the idea, but I haven't put in my 10,000 hours of skill mastery yet.
And then I hit page 121 and nearly fell in love. It was then I realized that this book is all about inspiration with a bit of extra guidance at the end. It's meant to share the love of this work (and the journey you must go on to create them) with those who may not understand the depth of creative wells that each bookmaker must go to in order to create such lovely and extraordinary bound pages. Now, I understand. Bookmaking can be about holding a bunch of pages together or it can be about holding together the possibility of what might be contained inside. The inspiration is all up to the creator.
*I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.