About Innovative Bookbinding

Shereen LaPlantz's "Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments and Hidden Messages"

For the past week, there has been a flurry of activity on the Book Arts listserv around the book Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments and Hidden Messages by Shereen LaPlantz.

This seems to have spurred a number of online searches for the book, as folks are trying to find a copy for themselves. As a result, people have found my blog post about when I got a copy of the book.

I’ve also heard from a few folks via Email, asking if I’d sell/rent my copy or if I’d be willing to photocopy/scan pages so they can them.

To answer the first question – nope, not selling or renting it. This book is such a priceless treasure and frankly I’m dumbfounded by the fact that I actually own a copy. I’m sure everyone understands why it isn’t leaving my possession.

And now the second question – I’m not willing to scan or make copies of pages at this time. I would be very upset if someone made copies of one of my books and did so without my permission. I feel that this book deserves the same respect.

However, I do understand everyone’s interest in the book. That’s why I contacted David LaPlantz, Shereen’s husband. I explained that people are eager to see the content of the book and that they would be overjoyed if the book were ever reprinted.

I also told him of my intention of writing a blog post about the book, which would include a few photos. I told him that I did not feel comfortable making scans of pages without his permission as I have great respect for copyright ownership.

He quickly responded and told me that he wanted some time to think about it, which I think is more than fair. I told him that whatever choice he makes, he should put Shereen first. I’ll keep you posted on how things develop.

That said, I do have other ways to share Shereen’s book. I’ll be attending the Guild of Book WorkersStandards Seminar in Boston later this year. I am more than happy to bring the book with me so people can check it out.

And if you’re ever in Vermont, contact me and I’ll figure out a way for you to come to my studio for a book look. I’m participating in Vermont Open Studio Weekend from October 1 -2, 2011 and during that event, you can stop by any time from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

For those of you far from Vermont, I did a search on WorldCat and found that there a number of libraries in the United States with copies of the book. I also discovered that there’s a video of Shereen talking about her book collection.

Now I just have to figure out a time to drive out to Rochester…

Update 8/2/11: David LaPlantz just informed me that he has some VHS copies of Shereen’s Prowling Video (the video mentioned above) – he’s offering them for sale at $30.00 (includes shipping). The video is two hours long.

From David:

This is the last project Shereen worked on before she made her final transition in 2003, a real testament to her love for books, bookbinding and communication of image and print.

If you’d like to purchase a video, please send a check (payable to David LaPlantz) to the following address:

David LaPlantz
69A Las Estrellas
Santa Fe, NM 87507-4230
Phone: 505-438-2469

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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