The Travelling Bookbinder’s Top Five Reads

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.

Unfold drawings, musings and small films on Elle Luna’s site.

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?

4 thoughts on “The Travelling Bookbinder’s Top Five Reads

  1. Thank you! I love both The Art of Travel and The Crossroads of Should and Must — so I am off to find the other three – library, bookshop, online if I have to…..

    1. Oh that’s good to hear Carolyn – let me know how you get on with them…

  2. My top two books at the moment are:
    The Art of Mindful Walking Adam Ford.
    Includes excerpts from various authors who undertook a’walk”
    Silence : in The Age of Noise by Erling Kagge
    Both these books compliment each other.
    I have surprised myself by really enjoying these books..ones you can dip in and out

    1. Thanks for the recommendations Alison – i’ll look out for them. In a similar vein, you might like Kate Humble’s Thinking On My Feet. Best and bookiest to you! Rachel

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