in which i discover a new (old?) pastime

I made my first book when I was about five years old: a half-dozen wide ruled notebook pages, stapled together, and "MY FIRST BOOK" written on the front with a proud pencil. I didn't fill it with stories, but with lists: my favorite things, the elaborate names of my stuffed animals... In place of illustrations, I taped scraps of leaves from our backyard.

Fast forward about sixteen years, and I'm interning as a proofreader at a big publishing house. My supervisor spends a few meetings explaining the guts of a book. Signatures, spacing, spines, the works. He asks if it's too technical, but I find it far more fascinating than the grammar I'm supposed to enforce.

So I've always had a thing for books--for the stories, for the nuts and bolts of the language, but also for the books themselves: the smell of ink and paper, the romance of tattered edges, the heft of a hardcover edition.

Imagine my thrill on seeing this gorgeous book from Purgatory Pie Press at Borders Saturday night:

I love, love, love it! I've already made two of her "instant books"... a completely simple and addictive project!

basic instant book

instant accordion book

and an extremely small accordion... just for fun!

I love having a project that marries my love of the literary with my crafty side, and these handmade books are the perfect answer.

It's also an ideal switch-up. After hours working on my 500-page novel (!!!), making a sweet six-page "Basic Instant Book" or a sixteen-page "Instant Accordion Book" feels like a holiday.

And then, what to fill them with? Quotes, lists of recipes I want to try, or maybe I'll salute my five-year-old self with a list of my favorite things...

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