Book restoration in the Adirondacks

Walden binding by Jack Fitterer and Taff Mace

Bridget sent a link to a sweet article from Adirondack Life about Jack Fitterer, a book restorer and binder in upstate New York: Page Turners: The art and craft of bookbinding in Indian Lake.

The earliest volume they’ve mended is a 15th-century prayer book with minute channels chewed through the pages by generations of actual bookworms. “Wormholes get little patches of Japanese tissue,” explains Jack. Repairs like this are visible, and he says, “Everything doesn’t have to be pristinely restored. It’s possible to over-restore things. Our goal is to keep a book’s integrity but make it something a modern person can touch and even read.”

It’s a short article with few photos, unfortunately, but there is the promise of more goodies at the Fitterers’ site (“under construction”):

In the future, this page will present a series of reflections on Books and Bookbinding. Some of the topics will include “How does restoration affect the value of a book?”, “How should I best store and display my books?”, “What repairs can I do myself?”, “Should I use leather dressing on my books?”

Keep an eye on it.

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