As much as I enjoy seeing my publishers put my work in print, I love to create my own books at home. Doing all the writing, art work, editing, printing and binding by myself takes time, but it's fun, too.
I got seriously involved in creating my own books after I took a class in Orizomegani (Japanese paper dyeing) and book binding. An artist and a professional book binder ran the all-day class, and by the end of it I had a whole new perspective on the making of books. I've been hooked ever since.
These days I make up books of stories I write as gifts for family and close friends, or with poetry and stories that I write for myself. I also make blank books for use as journals, notebooks and quilting and gardening diaries. Occasionally I'll rebind old books that are falling apart or that have extensive cover damage.
Readers may not think they have any reason to make a book themselves, but if you have family letters, poems or stories that mean a great deal to you, why not put them together in book form? Think of it like a scrapbook of words instead of pictures. There are all sorts of book making sites out there with instructions that are easy to follow.
Now it's your turn for some ideas -- if you were going to make your own book, what would you like to put in it? Put your answer in comments to this post by midnight EST on August 31, 2007, and I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner one of my handmade blank journals, along with a pack of book-making materials to get you started on making your own. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past.
How to Make Your Own Trade Paperbacks
Make Your Own Journal