Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dictionary Day

all my dictionariesToday is Noah Webster's birthday so it's recognized, mainly in the USA, as Dictionary Day. Webster being the one who Americanized the British dictionary for the masses. And my old Websters is definiely my favorite dictionary although the Canadian Oxford ranks high on my list as well.

I was going to just mention Dictionary Day and post that little photo of all my dictionaries but as I was gathering them I found my Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music and decided it might deserve some mention today.

This was originally a perfect bound paperback that I got, um, maybe 15-20 years ago (gulp!) and the spine dried and cracked and came apart after a few years. So when I had a chance to learn how to turn a perfect-bound paperback into a sewn hardcover, I selected this dictionary. It certainly turned out well. It never looked as good when it was new.

That was the first time I rebound a perfect bound paperback. I have done a couple more since then, but this one is the best because I did it in a class so I had my instructor, Joe Landry, there helping and all the best tools on hand in the Dawson Printshop and Bindery - including the ability to make that gold printed spine label.

So the loose pages were gathered into sections, about 15 pages each. Then I punched a row of holes very close to the edge of each section - and it is a lot of holes, one every 15 millimeters or so. Then all the sections were sewn onto tapes, kinda looping over the edge of each section. I tried to get a photo here that shows all the little sewing holes.

So the sewing was tedious but once the textblock was sewn together like this, casing it in was standard procedure. I thought the book would not open very well being sewn like this, but it does open really well - not perfectly flat, but it is quite good especially for a dictionary that isn't being read cover to cover. And, as an aside, I really love this marbled paper.


ellen fisher said...

Just visiting. Your books all look really good. Looking forward to seeing you and the books (and Raland & Nicholas).

Vicki said...

The dictionary looks great. Does the tape fold around the section and show inside the book?, I can't quite visualise it.

MyHandboundBooks said...

ah, i just sewed onto standard linen bookbinding tapes across the spine, kinda like this:


(thank you to the owner of that photo that i just found through google)

then the tapes are adhered to the inside of the front and back covers, before the endpaper is pasted down...so that is all the same as sewing any other book. all the extra sewing through the little holes doesn't affect that process.

does that make sense? hmmm, hopefully that answers your question!

Vicki said...

Ooooh I see. I thought you were doing something funky along the spine :)

MyHandboundBooks said...

All the holes along the edge - between the linen tapes - are whip-stitched...i think that is the correct term...over the edge of the section.


i probably haven't explained very well - i'll have to do another one someday and take photos as I make it!

Anonymous said...

hey there! saw that you had joe landry as an intsrtuctor and trying to get a hold of him... i have a few questions I need to ask him and he's the best guy to go to !.. do you happen to have an email or phone number for him? Thanks a bunch and your books look great!

MyHandboundBooks said...

hi! Joe has a website and I believe it has contact information: http://www.leafbyleaf.ca/