Take a dive into the world of bookbinding in Midhurst

Marysa de Veer has been a bookbinder for 28 years.

She established her business Otter Bookbinding in 1993.

She said: “There was a lack of jobs when I left bookbinding and I was expecting a child so even if I had found a job it would have been unlikely that I could have fulfilled any role.

“As a result I established Otter Bookbinding which was at the time in the village of Ottershaw in Surrey, hence the name.

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    One of the projects

    “I was thus in a position to work from home whilst bringing up a child and build up the business gradually to where it is now.

    “The void in opportunities for up and coming bookbinders remains a challenge to this day. I learnt as I went along a variety of methods of binding books for customers.”

    Marysa has lived in Midhurst for ten years, the services she offers include editing, typesetting and book binding as one offs and large quantities.

    Marysa also offers a full repair service for books


    She said: “We bind new books for clients, photo albums, life stories, theses, poetry, love stories for couples, log books for skippers and pilots and all sorts.”

    Plans for the future include hosting workshops and classes.

    Marysa is working on a project that will offer a full online course in book binding called Kitchen Table Bookbinder.

    It will cover the fundamental aspects of bookbinding and in the course participants will have the opportunity to apply for a City and Guilds in bookbinding if they want.

    On what she loves about what she does, she said: “Every day is unique and we always have new and interesting work to do.

    “Sometimes our work involves us doing research and development into structures. For example post bindings to hold photos but so you can not see the brass posts inside so they are hidden.

    “I love the creative aspect of my job, of repairing books in a way which respects the conservation of it’s pages for future generations using minimum adhesives. I like to bind books in a way that I know will not challenge a bookbinder in a hundred years who needs to upgrade the cover. So I will use archival materials in my work for that purpose.”

    Marysa trained at Guildford College with bookbinders Maureen Duke and John Mitchell.

    When she was at college she worked at Windsor Castle Bindery, where she was on hand during the great fire of 1992 in which she formed part of the human chain that evacuated books from the Royal Library.

    There are many misconceptions when it comes to bookbinding.

    Marysa said: “Sometimes there is a raised eyebrow around the cost of repairing an old book because customers don’t realise or anticipate the amount of skill that goes into repairing an antiquarian book or binding a new one in finest vegetable tanned leather and gold tooling it with beautiful traditional borders.

    “So I educate and give options so that clients can choose the budget that works best for them.

    She added: “If you are writing a book and need help with editing and typesetting please get in touch. Likewise if you have some antiquarian books needing attention, please let me know. We’d be delighted to help.”

    For more information, visit otterbookbinding.com