Thursday, August 15, 2013

Smollett's Don Quixote, 1755

There's a strange yet rather frequent phenomenon in the bindery that we jokingly call "psychic clients", wherein the client of the book that we are JUST about to work on would call to check the status of his/her book. It's actually scary! It's as if I'm sending some sort of a "telepathic signal" to them unconsciously, or they are sending me one so that I would pick their books to work on. ahhh..

The book featured in this post is one of them. I was digging out orders (books) which were 6, 7 months old, and I picked a couple of them and placed them on my workbench. As I was wondering which one to work on first, the phone rang, and somehow I knew who it was.... AHHHH!!

Anyway, this is a two-volume set of Smollett's Don Quixote. (1755, First Ed. London) It required re-hinging and reconstruction of the top and bottom of the spine, as well as facsimile sewn headbands and repairs of the corners. Also, a part of a skiver label was missing, so I created a patch, on which I re-tooled so that it appears as if there was never a missing piece. It's always difficult (often impossible) to lift the original spine leather without cracking for re-hinging when it's glued to the spine of the book, (called tight-back.) and this wasn't an exception. It was, as always, a nerve racking task. There's a young, preteen boy (I think he's 12.) who visits the bindery at night occasionally when his parents are working in the building. He showed up when I was at a critical point of lifting the spine leather, and just couldn't possibly be interrupted. But, he started running around the room and talking and laughing loud and all.. Ah,, you know what I did? I yelled at him.. I feel horrible.. I have to apologize to him next time I see him... :-(  But for now, just for the sake of it, I'm sending him my apology, telepathically. hummmm f.o.r.g.i.v.e. meeee ~


  1. Have you tried bird spikes? I hear they do wonders in keeping wildlife away!

    Jokes aside you shouldn't feel bad, you were under tension. Any of us would have yelled! I believe I'd be like Bilbo in that memorable scene when he tries to take back the ring from Frodo in Rivendell. "Hmm...yes, yes... interesting, hmm..." and then SNAP "Get OUT! SCRAM!"
    I always feel a bit down for working in a secluded workspace but this reminded me a bit of its perks.

    Since we are nearing its end how was summer MHR? Hope you enjoyed it, from your posts it seems you've done your share of traveling for the season!

    1. Bilbo!? hahaha Yeah I see the connection. haha.

      Well, I thought I was done with traveling for this year, but something unexpected has come up recently, and I'll have to be away from the bindery again. I'll be in Europe next month.

      We've been having a perfect summer this year. So nice!