Books were once made by hand, one by one, with patience and perfection. In this video, you can watch each step of the process—from the setting of the type, to the application of ink, to the impression onto paper, to the folding, cutting, hammering, sewing, binding, clamping, and trimming. And all of this is still after metal type was invented, replacing painstakingly handwritten script.
Bookmaking, though it now enjoys newer and faster forms technology, is still an art. And though these days, books are much easier to make and acquire, we still think that they are objects of great value. Perhaps we’re biased, since we just finished making our own book, Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders. And though we may not have sewn the binding ourselves, it sometimes feels as though we might have.
Let us never forget that books are treasures.
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