Recommended Books

This is going to be a short blog post but I think it is important too. There are so many books out there on bookbinding and this is just a small list of ones that my teacher Dan Mezza as recommended over the course of our classes together. Some of them are harder to find these days or costly but others are decent! I know they are on my to-buy list because if Dan recommends them they are good. Dan recommends each of them for various reasons sometimes he says the information in them is old and outdated by the images are still good and the diagrams still useful.  (Find part two of my book list here, and part three here.)

Book List


Library Materials Preservation Manual: Practical Methods for Preserving Books, Pamphlets and Other Printed Materials 

By Hedi Kyle

I’ve used this book myself, it has very help guides and step by step instructions for several things! When I used it to learn a new time of sewing method. The book is costly though! You can find here on


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFine and Historic Bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library 

 By Bearman, Frederick A., Nati H. Krivatsy and J. Franklin Mowery

I haven’t looked at this one much myself and again it’s costly but I believe, if I recall correctly, Dan said if offered good illustrations of historic bindings. A good book for anyone interested in the history of bindings! You can find it here at Thorn Books or try to find it else where online!


41hzislmual-_sx327_bo1204203200_Thames And Hudson Manual Of Bookbinding 

By  Arthur W Johnson

Dan refers to this book frequently it’s a good book to get you started, it has some good diagrams in it (I believe I’ve referenced it myself while working to remember how to do the Weaver’s Knot). Unlike the other it’s a reasonable price as well so I’d recommend picking it up!

You can find it here on


The Restoration Of Leather Bindings51tdcesdypl-_sx376_bo1204203200_

By Bernard C. Middleton

This book comes recommended as a good starting point. If I recall correctly not all the techniques might be “correct” in it. But overall Dan said it was a good book to grab and had some good information in it.

Again, can be found used for a decent price but to buy it new will cost you a lot! You can find it here on


411m-wczvnl-_sx360_bo1204203200_Books, Boxes & Portfolios: Binding, Construct and Design, Step-By-Step

By Franz Zeier

The cheapest book (aside from the ones available for free online) you can get it for under 10$ used. It provides good instructions on how to make boxes for books (which is when we referenced it in class during the box-making course I took).

You can pick it up here at


81kt9kfuo0lBoxes for the protection of rare books : their design & construction

By Margaret R. Brown, with the assistance of Don. Etherington and Linda K. Ogden

This one is available online through Hathi Trust! Which is great because it’s hard to find otherwise as it was originally published on loose-leaf. A local library may have it if you don’t want to read it online.   It covers the construction of eight book boxes ranging in complexity from the simple but effective phased box to the rather elaborate rare book box with portfolio. Find it free online here!


leatherforlibrar00hulm_0005Leather for libraries

By Hulme, E. Wyndham (Edward Wyndham)

This book is from 1905, and available online for free through! Despite being really old it’s still a good reference for the types of leathers, including pictures of the leather so you can learn to identify what type of leather a book is bound in.

You can find the book for free here (you can even download it as a PDF if you’d like).

That’s it for now! Until next time,


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