We Love Endpapers
January 24, 2019 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Meet the Endpaper Enthusiasts: at The Guardian's books blog, Alison Flood extols the quiet delights of the We Love Endpapers Facebook group, where 'book lovers gather to sigh over the most beautiful decorative pages and compare techniques', while at The New Antiquarian, Simon Beattie (the group's founder) provides a Beginner's Guide to Decorated Book Pages. Elsewhere, at Atlas Obscura, Sarah Laskow writes of The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper, while at Hyperallergic, Allison Meier praises The Lost Beauty of Book Endpapers. Previously at MeFi: ebru; decorated paper.
posted by misteraitch (9 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
One of the special delights of the libraries of my early years. Endpapers are like the giftwrapping of a book, an acknowledgement that what is enclosed is special, and worthy of attention.

I think this is the first time I’ve commented on the blue without reading the links first! I just need to express my appreciation for this post before I fall down the rabbit holes contained herein. The post itself is giving me that shiver of anticipation that I get from a good endpaper. Well done!

(Dives in headfirst.)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:28 AM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m currently in charge of a book that could have had cool fancy endpapers, but for corporate political reasons doesn’t, and it breaks my heart
posted by Sokka shot first at 5:44 AM on January 24, 2019

corporate political reasons

usually "the cost of fancy endpapers is the exact same as the whole of the profit the book would otherwise make"
posted by ominous_paws at 5:53 AM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

The endpapers in question are mostly ornamental, but I quite enjoyed the recent Field Notes End Papers release.
posted by zamboni at 5:58 AM on January 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just wish the swirly one had been blue instead of green.
posted by praemunire at 8:12 AM on January 24, 2019

I've actually made marble paper before. It's fun. You get to use both alum and carageenan, and the way you lay the paper into the ink allows you to make different patterns (in addition to the patterns you make with the paint itself)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:03 AM on January 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

I recently purchased an Illustrated edition of Earthsea and it the endpapers are illustrated. It's a nice touch.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:23 AM on January 24, 2019

A long time ago, I took a class with Galen Berry and had a blast marbling paper.

The University of Washington Libraries has a digital collection of Decorated and Decorative Papers that has wonderful examples of marbled papers.

On Flickr: Vintage Endpapers

Also on Flickr, a group: Cool Endpapers on Parade.
posted by Altomentis at 12:10 AM on January 25, 2019

When I was still in school, one of my instructors found out I was a fan of Katherine Mansfield, and he briefly let me borrow a beautiful edition of her stories that had lovely endpapers. Seeing this post reminded me of that book, which I hadn't thought of since then. I wish I could remember the name of the publisher offhand. It was British.

Thank for this wonderful post!
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 10:01 PM on January 26, 2019

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