I received an email from a bookbinder friend of mine asking about the semi-retirement announcement I made on my personal Facebook page earlier this Spring. It's simple really. Anyone who has followed the projects and works of myself and Bookbinders Workshop knows that we've been tirelessly at work over the past many years. Now the opportunity has come to slow down a bit, and enjoy life a little more, finishing up the publishing of my awaiting manuscripts, over-seeing the letterpress edition of the Gutenberg Bible, lecturing on my career and Gutenberg, and so on. It's a very liberating feeling. I've been involved in the craft of bookbinding for 34 years, this year, and have considered myself extremely fortunate to have had the beginning foundations that I had. FINE education is required in order to become a Fine bookbinder. In this day it seems as though many younger binders are so thirsty to be "famous" that they don't spend the time necessary to learn the [deep and genuine] techniques of the true fine art of hand bookbinding. I'm not aware one program in America that truly equips aspiring binders to go out into the world and make money binding and restoring books precisely according to historic standards. There's a lot of reasons for this, but I [do not] believe that it's the student's fault entirely. I learned from a completely different set of 'rules' in the craft (and life) and I know for a fact that this is not taught in these programs today.