I just found a very interesting interview with bookbinder Michael Greer. While some folks are quick to suggest that high quality bookbinding is a dying art Greer feels that this doesn't have to be the case. He sees the expansion of print-on-demand publishing as the perfect partner for his luxury craft.
In the US, hand bookbinding as a trade has been nearly dead for many years. A few of us quixotic dreamers hang on. Still, the revolution in the last decade in on-demand publishing could create a space for us. Twenty years ago, self-publishers paid a hefty sum to print maybe 250 copies of their family history. They gave away ten and the rest went into the attic. For about the same amount of money, I can print and bind ten full leather volumes and create others on demand. The difficulty is letting people know that this kind of thing exists. When I do fairs, people often approach my table full of books with a mystified smile and say, “I didn’t know anybody did this stuff anymore.” If bookbinders can get the word out, we might be able to carve out a place for our services in the growing world of digital publishing.
I think this is a fantastic coupling of old and new technologies. Imagine your own family history album, complete with photos, bound beautifully in leather and preserved for your grandchildren.
(Via Moby Lives)