bhSophia Siobhan Wolohan Bogle has been bookbinding since 1985 when as a student she worked at the University of Minnesota library bindery. It was there she saw her first “naked” books ~ books without their covers, the sewing exposed. She found the inner working of the bindings so fascinating that she started taking classes at The Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

After completing her English Degree, she became an apprentice at a used book store nearby, where she learned much about the value of books in the marketplace. More importantly though, it was there she learned her true calling. She found that she wanted to “fix-up” every book that came into the shop to make it more wanted and saleable. She thought it a shame that wonderful books were being shunned because of library marks or dinged up corners.

She decided to learn more about how best to help these books and so she moved to Portland, Oregon and enrolled in the book arts program at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. But book arts did not satisfy her desire to help broken books, so she moved on to work for Book Crafts, doing lots of case binding, foil stamping, sewing and paper repairs.

After a few years she moved on again and through a happy synchronicity found herself working for David Weinstein in Los Angeles, a true master of book restoration, who graduated from the London College of Printing with top honors and helped found the Heritage Bindery.

After two years of study and work with Weinstein, she moved back to Oregon and began Red Branch Book Restoration  (now dba Save Your Books) in the year 2000. Since then she has continued her bookish education and in 2009 received a diploma in book conservation from the American Academy of Bookbinding where her teacher was the eminent book conservator, Don Etherington.

Recently she decided to help people who can’t afford full restoration services to do it themselves with the Save Your Books product line. Everything sold is something that she has tried and uses all the time in the studio. The goal is to have products and video help for all the common book repair situations as well as help for when things go wrong! She especially enjoys the recent addition of online teaching through Skype and FaceTime.

Sophia still lives in Ashland and works out of her home there. Visitors are most welcome, but you must make an appointment first. Why not come to visit and see some of the world-class Shakespeare plays Ashland is famous for?

You can also find Sophia at her booth at the Rose City Book and Paper Fair ever June in Portland Oregon.


Member of the Cascade Booksellers Association