Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reduce stress, learn bookbinding

For the past few years I've wanted to learn how to bind books.  I have a number of cherished titles that have little monetary value, early printings of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, that I will never part with and would love to have them re-bound in leather.  I need some sort of craft hobby and learning the art and craft of bookbinding seems a solid choice. I really just need to take a class but there always seems to be something else to do.

Now, however, I am more motivated than ever to learn bookbinding!  As I was reading an article reporting on the results of the Best and Worst Jobs for 2011 study released by, bookbinding wins as the least stressful of the 200 jobs surveyed!  While the pay is modest and the industry fading, learning to bind books is a noble skill and anything that reduces stress is good.

From the article (click link above for more:

"The least stressful job, according to the study, was that of a bookbinder--though not all bookbinders would agree.

Jack Fitterer, 58, a bookbinder in Indian Lake, N.Y., says he's able to manage the challenges of his work by making sure he never embarks on a project he can't perform. Mr. Fitterer, who specializes in restoration, says his days typically involve rebuilding the deteriorated bindings of old books, some of which date back to the 15th century. That means if he makes a mistake, the work could be lost forever, he says.

"That is real stressful," says his wife, Taff, who also works in the business. "Every move you make is like 'Oh my God, I might destroy this.'" The Fitterers haven't made a mistake yet that they couldn't correct, they say.

The job won't make you rich. According to the study, the midlevel income of bookbinders is about $31,000. But Mr. Fitterer says he's never at a loss for work."

If you are interested in learning more, visit, a valuable resource.

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