About me

Hello, I’m Mark, the hands behind your hand-bound books. I started bookbinding in 2017, after taking a course at the Leeds Print Workshop, where I mostly used the facilities for relief printing (Lino cuts especially). I realized that, even though I’d been an avid reader my whole life, I knew next-to-nothing about how the books themselves were actually made! I immediately fell in love with the craft of bookbinding for its rich tradition, innovative ideas, and the contemplative frame-of-mind it fosters while working.

Being drawn to the contemplative way of life, I spent six months with the Benedictine monks at St. Michael’s Abbey, Farnborough. While we discerned that the monastic life wasn’t my vocation, I’ll carry the lessons learned there with me forever, not least about the art of bookbinding – the Abbot is a very skilled binder who bound an Altar Missal for Pope Benedict!

The spirit in which I started My Catholic Library is inspired by that experience; St. Benedict tells the monks that even their tools and utensils should be treated “as sacred vessels for the altar,” (Ch.31 v.10) and I think books certainly have a ‘sacramental’ quality to them.

We worship God with our senses, after all, and you simply can’t replace the feel of the book, the whisper of the turning pages, or the scent of Moroccan leather with a glowing screen or a cheap paperback! I make all your books by hand, using traditional methods and materials, and look forward to showing you more about the process as we go.

Of course, it’s not just the book itself which lifts the soul, but what’s inside. The benefits of good spiritual reading have been well articulated by countless saints (see my blog post on the subject), but if anything, it’s hard to know where to start – there’s almost too much to go at. At My Catholic Library, you’ll find a collection of books which have stood the test the time, and can be read with great spiritual profit in any age.

So whether you’re looking to fill out your own Catholic library with books that nourished the saints; you need customised gifts for everything from Baptism to ordination; and if you recognize the value in quality craftsmanship that you can hand on to the next generation…My Catholic Library is waiting to make something just for you.

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