Old-school craftsmanship is alive and well on a quiet block between Pike and Rutgers streets at Henry Bookbinding. Located under the Congregation Sons of Moses synagogue is a sweet-tempered old Orthodox man, known only as “Henry,” who will labor over holy books, family albums, and more, often delivering quality binding within a day. Stacks of paper, fabric, and cardboard may clutter his workspace, but Henry has an eye for detail and personal touches: He’ll walk you through your options (type of leather? gold embossing? spine lettering?) with patience, making generous suggestions along the way. There are other binderies in the city, but few will offer the personal touches Henry can provide, and none will beat his prices or turnaround time. You won’t find Henry online. You have to call beforehand to see if he’s in the shop; once an order is ready, he calls you to pick it up. He operates primarily via word of mouth, though true to the era, his fans have set up a Yelp page for him.
135 Henry Street, Manhattan