"Some books should be tasted
but only a few
should be chewed and digested thoroughly."
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (2003)
Working with Simon Goode, bookbinder, we discussed the anatomy of a book. He can pick up any book and analyse its structure... not the inside but the outside, the very skeleton. Leafing through a copy of Fire and Knives, the food quarterly, the teen remarked how it was hard to open. Simon instantly diagnosed the problem; the grain of the paper was in the wrong direction. "Printers often try to save money this way", he explained. I duly forwarded this information to the editor and I note that this latest edition of Fire and Knives is easier to flick through.
It's true I read less books than before. The internet has lured me away from paper. But reading from a backlit screen is never as pleasurable or, as comprehensible, as ink on paper. The rustle, the grain of paper, the smell, the scribbled notes in the margin, the spine and binding, end papers and font, all add to a book's allure.
This Saturday, Simon will be teaching a select group how to make a book. This will be followed by:
An edible Table of Contents:
Alphabetti spaghetti soup
Rice paper rolls
Paper wrapped tofu
Feuilles de chene salad
Squid ink pasta with courgette quills
Book jacket potato
Tickets are available here. £85 for workshop and dinner. Starts at 4pm.