Bookworms get a look at bookbinding

SPECULATOR - Books have been around since about 300 A.D., according to master bookbinder Jack Fitterer of Indian Lake, who gave a recent talk at Lake Pleasant Library here.

Sixteen hardy souls came out on a blustery winter afternoon to learn this as well as practical aspects of Fitterer's work. He described the processes of restoring and rebinding old and often badly damaged manuscripts.

He spoke about the evolution of papermaking and brought examples of beautifully marbled paper made in his workshop.

Various kinds of leathers have been used as covers over the centuries, the most enduring being goatskin. The nerve-wracking craft of hand tooling on leather with gold leaf had the audience holding its collective breath.

"It was fascinating!" exclaimed Judy Damkoehler of Piseco.

The Friends of the Lake Pleasant Library sponsored the Jan. 31 program.