I have a fetish for journals. I have a ridiculously large, and expanding collection, of them. I take immense joy in handling a new journal, lingering over the texture of the cover, its heft, the thickness of the paper, the pleasant crisp snap of the first page as it is turned. I marvel over the promise that each fresh journal brings... the pages blank and clean and waiting to willingly accept my words or doodles. Nothing is more gratifying than that first whoosh of ink on that blank slate.
No journals though have brought me more joy than those made by etsy seller myhandboundbooks. I eagerly await their arrival in my mailbox. I take care though to slowly open the box , pulling the flaps gently so that the pleasing waft of leather scent slowly drifts upward, tickling my olfactory senses. A few moments spent deeply inhaling, are then followed by the gentle removal of the journal from the box. Clean hands only! No smudges, or fingerprints must be left on so soft and tactile a leather as these. Once in my clean hands, I run one finger gently over the cover, then tease the thin leather strap that holds it closed. Finally, a full open handed caress across the front cover and then turning it, repeating the gesture on the reverse. Once the initial fondling is complete, it is time to slowly, temptingly unwind the strap and carefully peel back the front cover. There it is ... the promise. Those crisp sheets herald the need to once again inhale the scent of the leather and paper.
My senses aroused, I need to set the book aside, but often catch myself stealing caresses, and sniffing gently along its spine. I require a few days before I can bring myself to marr those tempting pages with ink. I want to be sure that the first dab of ink results in something in profound.
The bookbinder behind my fetish is Rhonda. She has spent several years learning her craft, and creates beautiful journals and books structured mainly in the Medieval and Renaissance style. Clearly my favorites are her leather journals, but she also uses repurposed papers/cardboard, fabrics and most recently wood. She has also expanded her talents to include hand-dyed marbled papers, some of which are used in her journals.
If you wish to see an example of books that Rhonda created using repurposed cereal boxes, check out the book Re-Bound. She also contributed some information on instructional components to EcoBooks.
Rhonda's shop on Etsy is MyHandboundBooks. The shop where she sells her papers is, mymarbledpapers.
Learn more about Rhonda and myhandboundbooks on her blog.