Five fundamental books to inspire your passions. Here are The Travelling Bookbinder’s top reads:
1. The power of making
We know instinctively, I think, about how good it feels to create with our hands. A heartfelt, insightful examination of the craft process is revealed through one man’s personal journey. Peter Korn began as a carpentry apprentice on Nantucket, and founded the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship. Here, he talks about his thoughts on the school and the effects of an immersive craft experience. “It’s like watching all the lights go on.” He says.
Read more about meaningful making, to better understand why craft is a cultural necessity in this digital age.
Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman, Peter Korn
2. The power of travel
Alain de Botton can be relied upon to philosophise entertainingly on a range of subjects close to the human heart; love, sex, art and religion. His intervention at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam was provoking (I loved it.) Travel is a rich seam to examine, especially once we accept that can cannot escape ourselves, however far away we go.
Exploring and engaging with new places is part of The Travelling Bookbinder’s job description, so this book is a particularly relevant read. I especially recommend the chapter about armchair travel, knowing how far online learning can take you into the realms of imagination.
The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton
3. The power of choosing
It’s hard to exercise choice when there are so many options. Elle Luna describes her morning routine that enabled her to write this book, which reminds us to make decisions consciously.
The charming hand-lettering and drawings encourage the notion that finding and following passions are not only possible and pleasurable, but also essential. Want to shake off your ‘shoulds’ and reveal your ‘musts’? I say yes please.
The Crossroads of Should and Must, Elle Luna
Finish with classic reads on two specialist subjects:
4. Power of paper
‘We are a paper people!’ proclaims Ian Samson. Understanding the significance of a such a commonplace substance to our existence is a revelation if you haven’t considered it that way before.
A material that is so readily available, yet enables literature, art and money to be tangible, is a very special thing.
This reviewer found the knowledge shared lightly.
Paper: An elegy, Ian Samson
5. Power of the book
Going on about the significance of books is probably unnecessary here, but indulge your interests thoroughly within these pages. Celebrating an iconic form with entertaining and illuminating content, Keith Houston describes what you know, but may not have been able to put into words.
Comprehensive, erudite and passionate.
The Book: A Cover to Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of our Time, Keith Houston
What are you reading? What are your top five?