02 July, 2009

Thoughts on some books, back from the binders.

Although, of course, I complete the printing of each of our books there and then (and it cannot be reprinted), the binding of the folded and collated sheets is done in batches. We might start off by binding half the edition and, if the book catches many eyes, we might be back for more within a few months. It could however be that the final tranche of copies goes to the binder a decade, or more, after first publication.

We are very happy with this. A good start should pay us back for the cost of actual outgoings such as paper and, of course, the binding, after which we are very content with a succession of sales over months or years. It is exciting when we 'meet', at a book fair or online, a collector who is passionate about this or that sort of book which is one of our specialities but has not been aware of us . . . until now!

Freshly bound copies of these three books have just arrived from the binder. As it happens, each of these, very different, books was published quite some time ago but I, for one, like them still and am quite proud of them. I remember the designing of them and discussions with the artists as the projects developed and I am aware, with sadness, that two of the three are no longer with us.

Over the years since these bindings were first designed and materials chosen, a number of types of cloth have been discontinued and alternatives have had to be chosen. Other small changes have had to be made but it makes us VERY happy to know that the HUMAN BEINGS who were responsible for creating these bindings in the first place remain exactly the same now.

The Fine Bindery has given way to The Fine Book Bindery and the financial structures and ownership have changed over the years but we are happy to know that we can get initial advice and helpful reactions to our (often daft) first thoughts from the same expert who advised us more than two decades ago and that the sewers and the case-makers and the spine blockers are again as they always were!

Fuller details about these books can be found on our website, if you wish to turn them up.

In the matter of their prices, the figures on the website will be the same as they have always been for that has been our policy wherever possible. This means that many of our early books seem almost ridiculously cheap for what they are. [Indeed we often see secondhand copies offered via the book-search websites at higher prices than we are still charging for new copies!]

Inevitably, however, costs rise and Frances and I feel that must increase the prices of these three books on September 1st 2009, together with a number of other titles, BUT any orders received before that time will be charged at the existing prices. Run for your chequebooks!

images by J. Martin Pitts

translated by Kevin Crossley-Holland images by Inger Lawrance

by Edmund John images by Nicholas Wilde