When a group of Eastchester Middle School students visited the library last week, they didn’t check out books, instead they made them.
The students used four sheets of paper and folded them to create the pages called signatures and then added another sheet of paper for the cover. They had to punch holes in the binding and sew the book together.
“I love reading and writing and that is why I wanted to come here and make a book so I can have place to write,” said seventh-grader Constance d’Epinay.
D’Epinay’s brother, Alexandre who is in sixth-grade, created a book of his own. “I wanted to try something new. It is challenging but with endurance and patience, I can make this.”
More than a dozen students enrolled in the two-hour Bookbinding workshop on January 18 that was funded through the Eastchester School Foundation.
Jennifer Verbit is a Book Binding teacher from the Center for Book Arts in New York City and visits schools and libraries.
“There is such a freedom making your own book and then draw and write in in it. The bigger joy is self-accomplishment when they show it to other people,” said Verbit.
“The process entails much patience and focus,” remarked Eastchester Middle School Library and Media Specialist Eleanor Schuster. “The value is in the process, the listening, observation, patience, the sequence, the detail. This is not instant gratification, but the reward is tangible: Each student left the workshop with a beautiful hand-made book to treasure and the joy of creativity.