Book binding

10 reasons why learning bookbinding is a great hobby during the pandemic

The pandemic has forced all of us to spend most of our time indoors. This is annoying for sure – we all miss the activities we did outdoors. But, if you look at it another way, this has also given us the gift of time. We’re no longer spending the time commuting to work, going to an external gym or just socializing outside. Everything is happening at home – which means we have a lot more time on our hands.

It is of course easy to spend this time just working more or watching Netflix. There are numerous studies on how the pandemic has blurred the boundaries between work and home. People are spending many more hours in front of their screen, either working or consuming media online.

However, if you can bring yourself to invest in a hobby, you can use this extra time to learn a new skill that is both fun as well as energizing. And here’s where I think that bookbinding is a great hobby to pick up during the pandemic, especially for those who are creatively inclined and are looking for something that can be easily done at home.

Here are 10 reasons why I think bookbinding is a great skill to pick up during covid:

  1. You can learn it completely at home: Bookbinding can be learnt entirely at home. You can order all the necessary tools online. You can find a lot of materials you need at home. It is very easy to get started, and perfect in an environment where you have to be indoors.
  2. There are lots of great tutorials online: You don’t really need an instructor for learning bookbinding. There are enough videos and tutorials online to guide you along the way. Here’s my post on how you can get started with learning bookbinding.
  3. You don’t need any fancy or complex equipment as a beginner: It can be challenging if your hobby needs some special tooling or machinery that is hard to come by. This is not the case in bookbinding, unless you want to start a bookbinding business! In fact, this video from Peg & Awl does a great job of explaining how you can bind books, by repurposing common household items as your bookbinding tools.
  4. Bookbinding provides quality off-screen time: Our time in front of the screen has sky rocketed during covid. Making something physical can offer a welcome respite from screen time, and force you to close your laptop. It’s really quite energizing to be away from your laptop or any screen for that matter.
  5. You can use what you make: Here’s a hobby where your output is readily usable. Each journal that you make, no matter what the quality, will still be usable enough to be able to write in. You can use your diaries for work, or as a personal journal, or the occasional note taking device.
  6. It opens up your eyes to other crafts: As you learn the craft, you don’t have to restrict yourself to bookbinding. Over time, you’ll learn other skills such as working with paper, working with leather, working with wood, print making, etc. It is up to you where you let your curiosity take you. A single craft can act as a doorway to many others.
  7. It’s quite cheap and affordable: Bookbinding is a very affordable hobby. You don’t need expensive equipment, and the material is fairly affordable too. Of course, as you start getting into different kinds of materials, you can spend on more expensive stuff such as leather, or wood, or high quality paper. But all in all, it’s quite cheap to get started.
  8. It makes for a great gift: Handmade gifts show that you care. Use your handmade journals as gifts for those who love writing and reading. They will appreciate the journal, and love the fact that it’s handmade.
  9. It’s a pleasure to make something with your hands: I’ve written about the meditative power of making with your hands. It’s a joy to be able to use your hands and fingers as opposed to your head for a change. The tactile feel of a well made book is truly extraordinary and is guaranteed to bring you loads of joy!
  10. It can encourage you start journaling more: Once you have a bunch of handmade journals lying around, it’s only natural that you’ll want to journal more. And that’s again a great use of your time. Reading and writing before sleeping has a been something I’ve started doing recently, and I’ve found it a great way to relax before going to bed. Try picking up your handmade journal instead of your mobile device before going to bed – it’s wonderful.

I hope this post encourages you to give bookbinding a try! It’s a great use of all that extra time on your hands during covid 🙂

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