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My 7 year old has been working very hard at writing a book
for about a month and my guess is that it will be done in
a few more weeks and be about 100 pages long. He wants it
turned into a regular book. Has anyone ever done this?
I know I can scan the pages and then get Shutterfly to
print them but is this the best way to go? Is there
someone who will take the actual pages he made and turn
those into a book? Any downsides to this? I like the idea
of him having the actual pages he drew on rather than a
scan of them. I don't think I want a spiral bound book but
maybe this is a good idea? I don't think it will seem very
official to him.
I'd like to keep it under $100 if possible.
This isn't a book that (probably) anyone else would ever
want to read and he doesn't want to circulate it but he's
worked so hard on it that I'd like him to be able to keep
it for posterity. We don't need multiple copies.
I highly recommend Pettingell Book Bindery in Berkeley. Over
the years, I have had several cherished books rebound, as
well as a similar project to your son's bound. I have been
amazed and delighted with the fine results. Bookbinding is
a lost art. Klaus is a craftsman and his work is impeccable
and reasonably priced. Contact info is:
Pettingell Book Bindery
2181 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
Love my Books
I highly recommend Ulli at Pettingell Book Bindery in downtown
Berkeley. Website is here:
http://www.pettingellbookbindery.com/ If you take in the
pages, I'm sure he can give you options for completing your
project. He rebound an antique Mother Goose for me quite
That's really great that your 7-year-old has been so prolific.
I would scan the pages, so that you have a master backup on
your computer and then for the originals consider the
wonderful mom-and-pop Pettingell bookbindery near
Bancroft/Benvenue. It's a bit pricey but definitely under
$100, and the book will be nicely leather bound... What a
wonderful keepsake this will be. Is it a fairy tale or a non-
fiction? What inspired him to write it, if you don't mind my
Google ''stab binding'' and look at the many tutorials for Japanese stab book
bindings. This will only work if he left a margin for the fold, but you could
conceivably have him paste the pages onto larger paper for that, as long as
sheets aren't double sided.
You need to be realistic about how ''posterity'' you can get though if he
acid free paper.
The Bay Area is a mecca for hand bookbinders -- you might contact the book
binding society and seek advice there.
Disclaimer first: my husband works for this company! But I
wanted to give a shout-out to Tikatok
(http://www.tikatok.com), an online platform for kids to
publish and share books. You could scan all the pages and
use those, including the hand-written text portions, or type
the text in and just scan the images to create a book for
your son. You can keep the end result private, I believe,
and can have just one copy printed. I'm biased, obviously,
but it's a really great site. My own son at 3 is still too
young, but my niece and nephew were some of the early test
pilots, so to speak, and they absolutely loved the process
and end result. Hope that helps!
most copy/print shops do simple binding. a spiral or comb
binding would be easy, but they may be able to use other
techniques if the pages are in good condition.
Don't do Shutterfly--it's the wrong tool for the job. Go to
a digital printing shop. I avoid Kinko's as being
unreliable. Try calling a couple of independent or
small-chain stores, explain what you want, and ask the price.
I've done this for myself after participating in National
Novel Writing Month, but I'm also a graphic designer. I
designed a cover, laid out my book, and then delivered a PDF
file to the store. I'm assuming you're working in Word. A
couple of tips: set up the page size as the finish size
(maybe you want the book to be 8.5 x 5.5 inches, for
example); at the end of chapters, use the page break
feature, don't just use extra returns (ever!) to move to the
next page; ask the printer's advice about how to do the
cover; ask for it to be perfect-bound so it will look like a
paperback novel; deliver it as a PDF if you can; look at
real books and notice how they do things, with the inside
title page, etc. to make the whole book look more real; pick
a decent typeface.
It's totally worth this. I really encourage you to do it!
You'll definitely spend less than $100 and you can even have
extra copies made for that price--the main cost is in the
set-up fee for a job this small.
Here's one suggestion: You said your son's book is about 100 pages. I
created a book that was exactly 100 pages and I just bought a nice-looking
binder and 50 ''sheet protectors'', then put the pages together. It worked
This might be easier and cheaper than actually having your book bound. Good
luck with whatever you decide!
I have been considering a career in Book Binding and
Restoration for a while now and was wondering if anyone out
there has any advice on how to go about learning this craft
and what the employment options are in the bay area? I have
considered working with Anne Kahel at Capricorns but need to
be employable with in a year or two and am not sure that is
a good option. Thanks for the help.
Here is a link to AIC, the professional organization for Conservation
Professionals in the US. There is lots of information on education in book
conservation. I believe the main program is at UT Austin, but programs in
Paper Conservation at the other graduate training programs cover some work
in books as well.
There is an excellent book binding/structures/boxes course
offered at City College San Francisco which starts this
Check out the City College San Francisco site for details
and registration; classes are very popular and might be
full. The teacher has taught in Europe and in the US and I
found out that one can still attend the first day and no-
shows/ cancellations, may mean that you can get into the
Have you tried the Center for the Book in San Francisco?
I took several bookbinding classes there (years ago) & they
were really great. I am a book-maker for fun & art, but it
seemed that they offered classes along a whole
spectrum...from super-technical to more casual.
I'm looking for a bookbinder/book restorer for a lovely old book that
belonged to my grandfather. The leather binding has fallen apart and
the tissues between plates needs to be replaced. Some cleaning needs
to be done too. Any recommendations?
I was very happy with the work done binding a book by Pettingell Bindery, on
Bancroft Way (the north side), just past the intersection with Oxford Street, near
the Berkeley campus. Their number is: 2181 Bancroft Way, (510) 845-3653. I asked the
rare book dealer at Moe's to recommend a book binder, and he said that there are
others in the Bay Area, but that Pettingell was the cheapest. My book cost about
$170 to have bound, and took about a week. The final result was quite
attractive--you can choose your own cover binding material and any gold stamping or
ornamentation you want.
I am looking for a book restoration shop that can revive my
book of rhymes and poems, that my Mom read to me and my
brother. Can anybody recommend this kind of service?
Many years ago, someone I know was taking a bookbinding class at
Mills. I hooked her up with another friend who needed a book
rebound. He paid her for the materials and a bit more and both
were quite satisfied.
You might check in with Mills to see if they still offer this
class and whether there might be a student to connect you with.
A few suggestions: 1) Pettingell Bookbinders, 2181 Bancroft in
Berkeley, 510-845-3653, 2) Taurus Bookbinders, also in Berkeley,
though I'm not sure where -- somewhere around 7th St.?, 3) Contact
the San Francisco Center for the Book -- they can probably direct
you to a good person, 4) Contact Bay Area Book Artists -- these
are mostly artists, but some of their members are also
If all else fails, you could contact Special Collections in the
campus libraries at Berkeley or Stanford, or the Rare Book
librarians at the SF Main Library and ask them to recommend
Try Pettingill book bindery on Bancroft Avenue just below Oxford (north side of
the street). It's an old-fashioned place and the guy there does everything from
restorations to binding PhD dissertations.
this page was last updated: May 8, 2012
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