Booker Prize 2023
“One of the highlights of the annual Booker Prize season comes when each of the shortlisted authors is presented with a unique, hand-bound edition of their nominated works, created by Fellows from the Designer Bookbinders society. These extraordinary, one-of-a-kind books are designed and made between the shortlist announcement and winner ceremony. Each book is the result of around 150 hours of dedicated work and the process, which involves at least 25 distinct stages, including the decoration of the edges of the pages and the final lettering, would normally take up to four months. This year it took around two.”
The Booker Prize have this year interviewed our six Fellows and are displaying some behind the scenes photographs as well as speaking to them about how they began bookbinding plus how their bindings were made. The bindings will be presented to the shortlisted authors at the winner ceremony on November 26, 2023, after which we will be displaying them in all of their glory here for you to see.
Please visit the Booker Prize website here to read more about it.
In the short period between shortlist announcement and the award ceremony, the binders must read, design and produce a hand bound fine binding, together with a protective container, for presentation to each of the authors. A process which might normally take three to four months or more has to be telescoped into as many weeks, but it is this which makes the commission such an interesting one for those taking part.
There are at least twenty-five stages in the hand binding of a book – from the decoration of the edges of the pages to the final lettering – and the binder will have spent about one hundred and fifty hours on the work by the time of completion. For those involved in this collaboration, the work is most rewarding; an opportunity to read and interpret some of the finest novels of our time, and, of course, it is hoped that the authors will derive as much pleasure from being presented with the finished results.