Little books for the People.
Maybe I should change my name to Mordecai Pocketbook Building.
I've been making a lot of pocketbooks. A lot. Of pocketbooks.
In some ways, I have to admit, I am not proud. Pocketbooks do not take much skill to make. And they can be made of just about any flat stock, so the idea of making something out of something rare or difficult to procure goes right out the window. And they are cheap. You're not going to make your first million by selling stapled packets of paper for six bucks each. Draplin already did that, and everyone, including me, are just picking up scraps.
But... I'm also... stoked. Elated. Proud. These little books have reinvigorated me and re-centered me in a way I never expected. For the same reasons I mentioned before, too. They don't take much skill, so the stress involved in their production is very low. They're made out of anything, not something rare... so ANYTHING flat could be made into pocketbooks. Comics. Wallpaper. Maps. Discarded coffee table books. All prime for the picking. And they're so accessible. And functional. And perfectly in line with my ethos at Mordecai - bringing the bourgeoisie bookbinding world down to the level of blue-collar craft for the enjoyment and use of as many people as possible.
You might gather, then, that I've been enjoying them. And you'd be correct. Ideation and production is so quick and satisfying that I feel free to make something, see how it feels and how people respond. If I have an idea in the middle of the night, I can wake up, make one before breakfast and have it vetted and sold by lunch. It's very refreshing.
I feel like I'm barely scratching the surface, too. I've been doing more design work with clients on what goes inside the pocketbooks that can engage and delight their audiences. Building in a few pages to stoke the senses and then leaving the rest of the book blank feels like opening a door for a friend. It's self-satisfying, but it's also a service.
This post is pretty much a manifesto of defense to the voices in my head that tell me pocketbooks aren't really bookbinding and that it's "below" the craft to make and market them. But honestly, I'd rather make 100 books 100 people will buy than a few books few folks could (or would) afford. So take that, voices.
It's also a flare for marketing purposes. These books are simple and fun and flexible, so if you're looking for an interesting and tactile way to spread your message, whatever it may be, in a physical and satisfying way... let's talk. Send me an email and we'll make some magic together.
Thank you for reading.
Oh. And before I forget, I refreshed my web shop with a number of pocketbooks looking for pockets to live in. Please check it out and order one if you'd like.