I’m Pat Sweet, the publisher, printer, illustrator, writer, editor, proofreader, copy editor, designer, binder, art director, shipping clerk, head of marketing, and janitor of Bo Press Miniature Books in Riverside, California. Our books are printed on an inkjet printer, and individually hand sewn in signatures and case-bound using traditional bookbinding techniques. The books are bound in decorative paper and leather from all over the world.
These books contain all sorts of notions:
- books on mathematics, astronomy, and botany
- books on poetry and folk songs
- books of fashion and art
- fine art print portfolios
- maps from famous works of fiction
- blank books and journals
Our books come in two sizes: miniature books (usually under 3″), and micro-miniature, or dollhouse scale books (under 1″). The illustrations and print are crisp and readable, even at smaller sizes. The press also makes miniature pocket globes and art boxes, a natural extension of fine bookbinding, since they use many of the same materials and techniques.
After a career as a theatrical costumer, I decided to build a dollhouse. Since I’ve always been a book collector, I was looking forward to including a miniature library, but the cost of most miniature books seemed to put it out of my reach. As a costumer, I’ve had to make all sorts of odd things, so I had a wonderful thought: ‘You know, I’ll bet I could make miniature books!’
I found great resources for bookbinding on the internet, and after a couple of weeks of practice, I had another wonderful thought,”You know, you bet I could sell these!”
At first, I made blank books, being more interested in binding than anything else, and then thought that customers might like the books better if they had something in them. I’d used digital graphics as a designer, so I started putting little pictures in the books, and found myself writing and publishing books on flying carpets, giant lizards, lost cities, classic cocktails, and silver daggers.
The dollhouse is still unfinished.