How to Bind a Book at Home

In this video, actress/musician/writer Catherine Taormina demonstrates how to print and bind a book at home. The first step is to print a series of four-page signatures consisting of standard printer paper folded in half. Next, you sew each signature along its fold to hold it together. After each signature is itself sewn up, all the signatures get sewn together. ...And then there's a bunch of stuff related to creating a tape binding, rubber cement, and so on.

It's a labor-intensive process (and you've got to be at least a little handy with a sewing needle), but the result is impressive -- a book with a real binding that will hold together. Watch Taormina's detailed step-by-step instructions:

For more on Taormina's book of poetry (as shown in the video), and some other online resources, read on after the jump.

How to Bind A Book: Bookstore Quality With At Home Materials Traditional Style With String! How Exciting! Now you can make the book you always wanted! If you are a writer and you have found you must do it yourself, this bookbinding process will fulfill you in some way. I did not include much on how to do the page layout, but page layout does take most of the time and alot of preplanning. If you've gone as far as I have then you will put your brains to that part. The only thing I left out is that you can wax the string. I used regular cotton sewing string doubled. The video spanned a couple of days as I was doing other things and I am losing more hair each day due to chemo for Hodgkins. I am happy to be somewhat functional and making a book has certainly given me a sense of accomplishment. Another thing I have discovered to do differently is to space the front and back cover further away from the spine prior to gluing - more than the suggested 2 spacers in width! That will allow the bind lay straight and flat. This book is print-to-order so if you'd like a copy please contact me for details! If I left anything out or you'd wish to contact me about this video please leave a message for me at myspace.com/rockstarsissy

See also: how to make a hardcover book, a Japanese bookbinding technique, and how to create a glue bound book.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
arrow
language
New 'Eye Language' Lets Paralyzed People Communicate More Easily
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0

The invention of sign language proved you don't need to vocalize to use complex language face to face. Now, a group of designers has shown that you don't even need control of your hands: Their new type of language for paralyzed people relies entirely on the eyes.

As AdAge reports, "Blink to Speak" was created by the design agency TBWA/India for the NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute and the Asha Ek Hope Foundation. The language takes advantage of one of the few motor functions many paralyzed people have at their disposal: eye movement. Designers had a limited number of moves to work with—looking up, down, left, or right; closing one or both eyes—but they figured out how to use these building blocks to create a sophisticated way to get information across. The final product consists of eight alphabets and messages like "get doctor" and "entertainment" meant to facilitate communication between patients and caregivers.

Inside of a language book.
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

This isn't the only tool that allows paralyzed people to "speak" through facial movements, but unlike most other options currently available, Blink to Speak doesn't require any expensive technology. The project's potential impact on the lives of people with paralysis earned it the Health Grand Prix for Good at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier in June.

The groups behind Blink to Speak have produced thousands of print copies of the language guide and have made it available online as an ebook. To learn the language yourself or share it with someone you know, you can download it for free here.

[h/t AdAge]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Animals
How Bats Protect Rare Books at This Portuguese Library
iStock
iStock

Visit the Joanina Library at the University of Coimbra in Portugal at night and you might think the building has a bat problem. It's true that common pipistrelle bats live there, occupying the space behind the bookshelves by day and swooping beneath the arched ceilings and in and out of windows once the sun goes down, but they're not a problem. As Smithsonian reports, the bats play a vital role in preserving the institution's manuscripts, so librarians are in no hurry to get rid of them.

The bats that live in the library don't damage the books and, because they're nocturnal, they usually don't bother the human guests. The much bigger danger to the collection is the insect population. Many bug species are known to gnaw on paper, which could be disastrous for the library's rare items that date from before the 19th century. The bats act as a natural form of pest control: At night, they feast on the insects that would otherwise feast on library books.

The Joanina Library is famous for being one of the most architecturally stunning libraries on earth. It was constructed before 1725, but when exactly the bats arrived is unknown. Librarians can say for sure they've been flapping around the halls since at least the 1800s.

Though bats have no reason to go after the materials, there is one threat they pose to the interior: falling feces. Librarians protect against this by covering their 18th-century tables with fabric made from animal skin at night and cleaning the floors of guano every morning.

[h/t Smithsonian]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios