Q: What's so great about hand made books? A: Time travel & immortality!

1305 letter from the Ilkhan Mongol Öljaitü to King Philip IV of France, suggesting military collaboration.

"A handmade book costs how much?  Why aren't your books priced like the ones I see on Etsy?  Over [$ xx.xx] is ludicrous!"  This could be asked of any similar crafted object and there is nothing wrong with these questions.  I've asked the same ones myself of other items I've found desirable. 

It's a fair question.  It's a great question, in fact.  What are you paying for?  We all ask that because we all are, at heart, selective people of taste.  We want the best value and that's one sign of good character.  But, I ask in return, how do you interpret the phrase, "You get what you pay for"?  That's what's at the center of it all.

Let's take my books.  Hand made?  Check.  Archival quality?  Check.  Cruelty free?  Check.  Fair trade materials whenever possible?  Check.  Ample & generous?  Double check.  Well engineered and comfortable to use at a price that takes my labor & materials into serious consideration?  Triple check.  

But what does all that mean?  Archival quality is what you should focus on.  It means that my book and its materials are selected and assembled in such a way, that when not physically abused and protected from UV, fire and liquids, will last somewhere between 100 and 600 years.  Longer possibly.  This means if you record your thoughts and notions, your observations, hopes & dreams into one of my books, or any other finely made book, your ancestors will know who you were exactly.  What you were about.  What life was like in another time.  A book becomes the ultimate personal legacy.  They are the only known physical containers of human thoughts that have had a lot of field testing.  Time tested, too, so you can be absolutely sure of them.  

Did you know that there are letters, written by Mongol Khans, sent to ancient French king Phillip IV, nearly 1,000 years old that are still on display that have undergone almost no conservation?  The secret is the paper and the ink.  As long as they are kept dry and out of direct sun, the Lokta paper these letters are written on and the clay & soot based ink they are written with will continue to travel time with us.  Telling us, unambiguously, what happened back then.   But that fine paper and ink came at a cost.  A reasonable cost to achieve legacy status.  There's a reason why literacy was the hallmark of elites back then.  

1289 letter of Arghun to Philip IV of France, in the Mongolian script, with detail of the introduction. The letter was conveyed to the French king by Buscarel of Gisolfe.

So, for a little more money than you would expect to spend on a mass market quality journal, your mind can be a time traveler.  Visiting the future and serving as a bridge for future folk to visit the past.  I can guarantee you will not be misunderstood and that you will be, in that state at that time, as mysterious, exotic and interesting to folks as any celebrity or historical figure.  Maybe even controversial.  You will be a historical figure by merit of the nature of Time/Space, Biology and the Universe itself.  But you have to start writing in your book, your finer quality book that you paid the correct amount of money for, in order for that to happen.  Your thoughts on fine paper in a well made book will turn your very brain into an important historical artifact.  

Suddenly, a few hundred dollars in exchange for lexical  immortality seems like a great value, yes?

Facsimile of the diary of Anne Frank on display at the Anne Frank Zentrum in Berlin, Germany.