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Charms by Melissa Oesch

One of my favorite things about wearable mini-books is that I get to use leather journals as jewelry without being a pretentious twit about it.

That was the habit when I was 18 and a freshman English major: using such things as self-adornment, as an insecure suburban teen trying desperately to look intellectual and literary is wont to do. I leaned toward unadorned leather journals in which I earnestly wrote bad prose and worse poetry in a very public manner. Why, yes, I believe there were kreteks involved.  

Even though I’ve given up the poetry (you’re welcome) and have switched to writing bad prose on a laptop, I still have a soft spot for the accoutrements of the newly minted English major which is indulged by these Etsy shops. Check them out.

These mini-book necklaces by Philadelphia’s Margaux and Walter Kent at Peg and Awl are a callback to those more fanciful days.

The Kents hand make each piece using reclaimed leathers from sources such as vintage sofas and antique doctors’ bags.

And, in the era of the iPad, there’s a beautiful simplicity of paper bound by glue, thread and leather, as shown in theses pieces by Simona, an Italian bookbinder and book conservationist.

Melissa Oesch’s charms are made from repurposed leather and are available in several colors.

Lastly, Amber Smith, a bookbinder and aspiring librarian, makes upcycled and repurposed books of all kinds, including journals and book jewelry.

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