Henry Bookbinding Co.

Henry Bookbinding Co.

Photo: Cititour.com

Neighborhood: Chinatown
Type of Place: Books


Chinatown: for tourists, it’s a definite must-see. But for native New Yorkers, it can be nothing short of a fish-smelling, overcrowded, steamy maze of streets that we scuttle like mice to get out of. That is, of course, unless you take the time to seek out all of C-Town’s best holes in the wall, one of which happens to be Henry Bookbinding Co.

What in the world do I need a Bookbinding store for, you may ask. There are actually a number of reasons why you may want to step into this curious little nook. Take it from Shannon Campanaro, Creative Director and Founder of Eskayel, one of the most elite wallpaper and fabric providers for celebrities and other high-spenders in NY. To grace her clientele with a sophisticated display of interior design options, she heads to Henry’s. Shannon simply brings him the pages she needs bound, walks away and returns to be graced with a collection of her fabrics beautifully bound with gold-embossed titles.

And you’d never think it. At Henry’s, you’ll walk into an amount of clutter so out of control you may want to report the shop to the show “Hoarders”. But maze your way through antiquated machines, rolls of fabrics, spiraling stacks of books and more muddle and you’ll realize something magical happening – there is an old craft being kept alive here, one that because of Henry Bookbinding, may never die out.

Because every client comes to this shop with a wide spectrum of needs, it is hard to mention price points. However, it is known that the owner enjoys a good game of negotiation, so don’t be afraid to bargain. Most of his work is religiously-related, however, scrapbookers, keepsake-freaks, honeymooners and the like will find this shop not only helpful but quite an adventure. A friend of mine who needed to have a bunch of letters bound was greeted by the owner in his boxers. About to walk away, she decided to give the old man a shot – and is glad she did. Her result was a flawlessly bound book with gold-pressed lettering on its durable cover.

Even if just for the bizarre experience, head to Henry’s Bookbinding today. There is one caveat: either because the store is backlogged with orders or the owner needs a little extra time to gather his scruples, it is suggested to call ahead.

  - Janice Bevilacqua; Sept 21, 2013

Henry Bookbinding Co.
135 Henry St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 962-1977