Thursday, February 11, 2010

From My Library: Cover to Cover by Shereen LaPlantz

First of all, I must say that this book has one of the longest titles on my shelves--Cover to Cover: Creative Techniques for making Beautiful Books, Journals & Albums. The book was published in its first softback edition in 1998. For some reason, it has just now been brought to my attention. This book was one of those suggested books when I purchased something else.

Unfortunately, these books are like boxes of corn flakes--the insides are all the same but the covering is different. Many of them begin with bookbinding basics: equipment, paper, grain, etc. They then go into types of books and are usually followed by a gallery of some sort.

This book falls within that realm. The subsequent chapters are: Pamphlet Stitch, Basic Codex, Stitches, Stab Bindings, Fold Books, and Combination Books. Where this book stands out is the discussion of Unusual Bindings and a chapter titled "Presentation Counts."

I find it difficult to follow directions in a book. I am much more comfortable seeing someone perform the machinations or being taught them. Once I see someone doing it, it is much easier for me to follow along in a book. The problem is that bookbinding is a three dimensional art form. Stitch patterns are very difficult in a two dimension format like print. For those people who can follow a book like this, there are numerous examples and illustrations. Many examples are made specifically for this book by the author to illustrate the different types of books. There are also numerous examples from other book artists throughout the book as well.

All in all, this is a very good reference book to have on your shelves.

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