I don't know about you, but I love books. Not just for the content (although I adore to read) but also for the physical object of the book itself. I love the smell, the feel, the weight of the book. When I discovered that I could learn to bind my own books at the Centre for Adult Education, I just had to try it out.
The Centre for Adult Education provides many interesting short courses, from computer skills to harmonica lessons to fashion design. Their Simple Bookbinding course is a one-day course which takes place on a Saturday. Check the CAE website and search for "book binding" for upcoming class times.
At the class that I attended, there were about seven students. The small size allowed our teacher to give each of us individual attention. We started off with a theoretical introduction. We received a booklet of instructions and places to buy book binding materials.
My attempt at book binding
Then, we learned how to cut the boards and cover them. We learned the correct stitches for sewing the pages together, and how to make everything neat and square. We were taught a number of methods for adding strength to the spine. Finally, we learned how to assemble the whole book.
The class was conducted in a casual but professional manner. The teacher, Michelle, has a vast amount of knowledge and experience in the book binding and design industry. I felt that I learned a valuable skill in this course. It is quite a tiring day, as you are learning for about six or seven hours, but I felt it was worth it. And, of course, I came away with my own hand-bound hardcover book.
If you love books and crafts, I would definitely recommend this course. There is a virtually unlimited number of things to which you can apply your book binding skills. There are also two more book binding courses at the Centre for Adult Education. If you've already mastered simple bookbinding, you can also learn to make a concertina book or learn Coptic book binding.
The Centre for Adult Education is located at 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD.