Friday, July 9, 2010

Blank Books Are Intimidating

Book Created by Katie Gonzalez

A lot of times people look at the books that I create and like them, which is not just cool, it is thrilling, I have to admit. Then, I see, sort of a puzzled and sometimes embarrassed look on their faces, and then they ask, "What do I put in it?" I have been making books since I was a kid, so it might be very easy to be flippant about this question and say, "What don't you put in it?"

But I don't say that. I honestly don't think that. I know how hard it is to write in a beautiful book. You might feel like you have to use your best handwriting. You might feel like it is just to bare and too blank, and that bareness intimidates you. And there are many more fears.

I bought the book pictured above for Lucy. I blogged about the maker, Katie Gonzalez, awhile back. She uses a type of bookbinding process called coptic stitching. You can read more about her work here.

I would like to share with you what I wrote on the first page of this beautiful book:

Lucy, I think when anyone starts a blank book or journal, it is intimidating. You think things like...what if I make a mistake?, what do I have to say that is so special?, what if I misspell something? These are normal fears. Ones I hope that you will get over as you grow up and start books of your own.

I want to fill this book with all the funny things you say to us, because we forget them so quickly. And if it is one thing your dad and I treasure - it is words. We love to read them, write them and say them. You do too. We can already see such amazing things forming in your head and coming out of your mouth.

My hope is you will learn to use this as a book with me (see...I messed up here...does not matter one bit). When you say something funny or poignant, you will scream, "Where is my book? We have to write it down."

Yes, this is my hope, dear one.

Some books that have been really beneficial to me in the process of writing are:

There are many more. I spend a great deal of my time reading books about what to write in them. Sounds funny, I know. But it inspires me. To think for one minute that I could create something for you to record your life . . . that is motivation. It sure is.

Detail of a book I just finished - just digging this butterfly imagery

A very tiny detail of something I find VERY true

The finished look of this book


abbymaya said...

That's awesome, I love this book and what you're doing for her is just remarkable.

Molly Quigley Hughes said...

You are the sweetest. I am wearing the necklace you made me right now. The baristas at Starbucks loved it today!

Katie said...

Hi Molly,

I just came across this blog post and I love the sentiments that you've written about here. This book I made for Lucy was the very first custom book I ever made when I started by bookbinding business five years ago, so It holds a special place in my heart.

I've actually just started a new project called "My Used Book," which aims to inspire people to fill blank books and showcase ideas for how to use them. If you're interested in learning more about the project, you can visit this page on my website:

I hope you're still enjoying your cherry blossom journal!

All the best,