Paper is the skin and soul of a book. Texture, color and pliability. Often the greatest challenge is determining which to paper to use and how it will convey the proper mood. Fortunately, the variety of papers available are not lacking. Handmade paper is available in huge varieties from extremely thin and light to bark and cork paper. The key, then, is to find a source for good paper. If you have never seen handmade papers, you must find a store which offers such papers. Consult the resources page for resources on paper and other art supplies.
Binding may appear as an after thought to those not familiar with bookart, but it is binding which gives the story its freedom of expression. It is, quite literally, how the story unfolds. And binding need not be complex to convey the message.
A piece of paper folded in half is a book. A page front, when turned over, becomes the back of the page. A book continually changes how it lets you view itself.
Few people have witnessed the joy of unfolding an accordian book, flipping a dos-a-dos to its other side and viewing a new book within the same book. Pleated spines offer portions of the front of several sections to be exposed simultaneously. Books fold out, fold up, expand and are limited only by the artists imagination.
When you view a handmade book, consider why the artist choose the binding for that book. Binding is never considered after the pages are complete. The binding allows you the reader to experience all or part of a page at a certain time, and for good reason. Binding is the telling of the story, at the story's pace.