Hey, Hey, My, My: Hard Cover Books Will Never Die

Hardbacks occupy a special place in the hearts of us here at Dust Nuggets central. We had to do a bit of work to create our prop — How to Catapult Your Band to Rock Stardom — as a hard cover book. It was worth it because, first of all it was fun to design a book, but also because we now have a jammin’ souvenir from our shoot.

Finding book binders is not all that difficult in this Internet age; it is still a respected trade after all. Still, it can be a challenge if you’ve never done it before. We recommend it, though, especially if you have a soft spot for real, out-in-the-world books and/or book-binding. Which we do.

Imagine our delight to stumble across our friend, famed author Madeleine Robins, who in her off-hours is operations manager for the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco.

This museum is a must stop for any book lover visiting the Bay Area. It’s located at 355 Clementina Street (zip code: 94103) and features 50 or so cast iron and wooden artifacts once used in this historic trade. Things like a skiving machine, ink balls, and a “guillotine.” They also have great information on the history of bookbinding. My favorite collection is the Kathleen V. Robert’s Collection of Decorated Publishers’ Bindings. Here you find exquisite book covers from the 1800s, i.e. before the age of dust jackets. These cloth covers are works of art in themselves and deserve all the shelf space they get. So glad they are being presenting in this fashion. The image above of Mr. Connor’s “Black Rock” shown above is an example.

Imperial Arming Press

The museum also hosts events such as the upcoming Smithsonian Museum Day where museums across the country will be joining the Smithsonian in offering free passes in order to promote cultural discovery.

Kudos to the ABA for highlighting this unique art that, although it is still with us, is no longer rising to the heights it once was. And it may be fading fast, so book lovers take note!

Visit the ABA to experience the glories of the past:

355 Clementina Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 824-9754
info@bookbindersmuseum.org

Open 10am-4pm, Tuesday-Saturday
Buy tickets.

And watch for news of the upcoming release of Dust Nuggets featuring our own hard cover artifact. Sign up for the email list.

Check out the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZzWbleVa5M&t=12s

Dust Nuggets’ Dr. Seuss-style book.

Leave a Comment