NEW BOOK: Blooks: The Art of Books That Aren't

NEW BOOK: BLOOKS: The Art of Books That Aren't

Mindell Dubansky
Paperback; 96 pages; 9 x 11 in.
Over 200 full-color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-88937-21-29
$45 plus $6 s&h (for the US, overseas orders please email me for postage cost)

You can pay via Paypal (Buy Now button below) or personal check. 
Phone: 212-650-2890

Contact me about bulk orders and special discounts. The book is also for sale at The Metropolitan Museum of Art bookstore, the Morgan Museum and Library bookstore, and at the Grolier Club (to March 12). 

This book has been made possible donations from many book lovers and a grant from Furthermore grants in publishing, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund. Donors are listed on the Blook Club page.

Photography: Mindell Dubansky
Introductory Essay: Miriam Schaer
Design: Roni Gross
Editor: Cara Schlesinger
Printer: Four-Colour Printing

Sample pages:

Frontisepiece and title page

Contents page



BLOOKS for the Masses: Fantasy and Invention in Book Objects

Blooks for the Masses is a chronological romp through the evolution of American patented book-objects, designed during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will feature approximately fifty patents for practical and fanciful book objects of all kinds. In addition to patent drawings, Ms. Dubansky will discuss the objects’ details as they relate to book culture and illustrate real objects that were produced from, or closely resemble, those produced from the patents.

The objects in the talk date from the 1860s to the 2010s. They elucidate how book objects were integrated into popular culture and how the commercial sector has developed the book form to add interest, function and market value to every-day objects. Items in this presentation are wide-ranging and include examples of objects made for the home, office, school and beyond. Shown here is a patent for a lunch-box (1875; patent 170,441) and Noonday Exercise, an unattributed toleware lunch box of a similar style and date.
I offer lectures and hands-on workshops on the history and making of historic book-shaped objects. Lectures can be tailored to specific audiences and cover the general subject or specific genres of book objects. Please contact me at, or by phone (daytime) at 212-650-2890, if you would like to discuss a program for your institution or social group. Past venues include:
  • Philadelphia University of the Arts
  • Grolier Club
  • Maryland Institute of Art (MICA)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Paper and Book Intensive (PBI)
  • Penland School of Crafts
In this blog post "In Emulation of Books" my student Erin Sweeney describes her experience in my workshop at PBI.


If you have book objects in your institutional or private collections that you think I should know about, or want to send pictures and captions for the blog or lectures, I'd like to see them. I do have a modest budget for collecting so feel free to let me know if they are for sale or trade. Of course, donations are also appreciated and will appear on the Blook Club Page and in Posts.


"Collecting BLOOKS." Article in 19th Century, the Magazine of the Victorian Society in America. December 2015 issue.

"Blooks: A Survey of Book-shaped Objects." Arthur P. Williams lecturer. University of the Arts, Philiadelphia. 2015. 

"Blooks for the Masses." Lecture. Grolier Club. 2015.

"Blooks: Structures of Interest and Amusement." Guild of Book Workers Journal, 2012 (forthcoming 2015). Article describing ten historic book-shaped objects of various inventive structures.

Fine Books & Collections Magazine. Article by Richard Minsky about Mindell Dubansky's book-shaped object collection in the "Object" section, Spring 2013 issue.

The Proper Decoration of Book Covers: The Life and Work of Alice C. Morse. New York: The Grolier Club, 2008. Available from Mindell Dubansky. To purchase this book, click this link.


  1. I love reading books especially English Books.
    English Books

  2. I want to start collecting these! I would also love to make some!

  3. My desire is to make a copy of "The Seven Gates" as shown in the movie.