My parents are book people, most definitely. As a child I didn't know anyone who had more books, except my grandparents, which doesn't even really count because that's the way it's supposed to be. The older the people the more books. My point here is that it's no accident I became interested in books as objects instead of just enjoying the contents, and that my parents also know a good thing when they see one. And this time they saw too good things and brought them home to me. Sido itse kirjasi - Lyhyt kirjansidonnan opas (Bind your own books - short guide to bookbinding) is from 1915, the other, Kirjansidonnan opas (Guide to bookbinding) which is actually based on the first book, is from 1933.
I know only a fraction of my readers are Finnish, but I couldn't skip this opportunity to share the foreword of the older book with you. It says the great advantage bookbinding has (compared to other crafts I assume) is that it's a clean and tidy job which has no effect on the tidiness and cleanliness of your home. Also, it's easy and cheap, and it only takes a couple of weeks to get well acquainted with the craft. So not agreeing with any of this so far. But this I agree with most wholeheartedly : Success mainly depends on the care and precision with which the job is done.
What surprised me the most was how even the short guide to bookbinding included things such as paring leather, fine edge decoration and gilding. The general skill level people had a hundred years ago is quite something. Also, the descriptions in these books are pretty amusing at times: for making glaire you need a drinking-glass-like vessel and a whisk-like utensil. Maybe a glass and a whisk are used in the abridged version of this short guide...
Current state of my desk. Still a lot to do and new ideas are anxiously waiting their turn.
My giveaway made me feel almost as popular as I was at school when it was a good day if I was picked second-to-last into a team in gym. Just how awesome is that! I must have asked too difficult a question. Thank you Jen and Laura for playing along and leaving a comment! I'll be sending both of you some things from the above stacks.
(In case you're interested, the incomplete list of things to spot in my book: old map of London, hand-drawn map of Great Portland Street area, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge / Houses of Parliament / the River Thames, bits of Parthenon at the British Museum, the glass ceiling and the floor plan of the British Museum, Maya Deren's Meshes of the Afternoon
at Tate Modern, and the Frog Princess by Gilbert Bayes at V&A.)