From Writing to Binding…….Books, That Is!

When I heard that my good friends Phil and Cath were going on a book-binding course, I fell over myself in asking if I could tag along and I’m so glad I did.

As most of you will know, I am rather odd and I hold my hands up to having a serious fetish for stationery. As most of you will also know, I write long hand and my favourite tools are gorgeously bound notebooks, so when I heard that that’s what we’d be making on the course, I thought I was going to swoon!!

I have to admit though to a smidgen of doubt when the lovely Naomi Sadler held up a beautifully bound notebook and said ‘….and this is what you’ll be making today’. Cath and I exchanged glances, both thinking the same thing…..’maybe’. Phil, on the other hand, was confident as always.

The thing is, as with most things, when you break it down to the bare bones, it is relatively straight-forward. This was the case with making the notebooks. The most stressful part was cutting up the fancy paper both Cath and I had chosen. I have to confess at this point that a large G&T and a cold flannel on my head were seriously needed!!

Apart from getting glue everywhere – I’m not very good at believing people when they say ‘you don’t need much’ – the process went extremely smoothly and I even managed to make the smaller notebook in 20 minutes!!.

I will confess (there is a lot of confessing going on here!) that my favourite bit was pressing the books. I did get pulled up for being a little to ‘enthusiastic’ with the old press. The thing is, put a press in the hands of a horror writer and you’re lucky the book was all I pressed. Serious restraint was in operation that day as I was intrigued to see the impact of the press on other things not so bookish……

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, inspirational and fulfilling day. To say I am proud of my creations is an understatement. To say that they will NEVER be written in is a fact.

If you are interested, contact Naomi Sadler at Brier Rose Books for more information. She will be doing future courses which I await with bated breath!

Here are a few snaps of me hard at work:

Firstly, a little bit of humour as Cath informed me that my apron ‘is so not you’. I do tend to agree, but it’s all I could get!

Firstly, we had to stitch the pages together. I remember my mum having to staple my hands to the sewing machine on a Sunday afternoon to get me to do my needlework homework! I’m laughing because, even with my specs, I couldn’t thread the rather large needle!!


Then came the cutting and gluing….


The first press generated the biggest smile…


The next stage is making the cover itself


Before sticking it all together

And the final press

Before the final result