Booker binding: Unique handmade editions of shortlisted novels
15 October 2018
Over the past 27 years, members of the Designer Bookbinders society have created a bespoke edition of every title on the Booker shortlist. Ahead of the 2018 ceremony and a new documentary about the prize, society Fellow Angela James reveals more about this centuries-old craft.
Every year six Designer Bookbinders Fellows each bind one of the novels shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. They have only four to five weeks to design and complete the bindings - which require around 150 hours of work - before they are presented to the authors at the award ceremony.
As a Fellow and former President of the society, Angela James has overseen this process for many years, as well as producing numerous bindings of her own for Booker nominees and winners including Ben Okri, Kiran Desai and Ruth Ozeki.
Bindings from previous years have been shown at the British Library and the V&A Museum, and you can browse an archive of photos going back to 2005 on the Designer Bookbinders website. Below are some further examples of James's bookbinding work (all images © Angela James).