I can buy a blank journal at StuffMart for $6.99. Furthermore, my uncle time-traveled back to 1840 and bought one for $2.00 Why do these cost so much?

Great question. Our staff has had similar experience with time travel, but while we were able to spend several profitable months in the 1800’s learning technique, had no luck transporting the raw materials forward. But to your question. To illustrate the immense contrast between handmade goods and the modern book, consider the following anecdote.  George Whitefield purchased a set of Matthew Henry’s Commentaries in 1735 for 7 pounds, the equivalent of 4 months of a working man’s wages. The bookseller let him take a year to pay for them.  A modern printing may be had today for perhaps $12. The difference? Incredible machines! Sadly (or perhaps not), there are no incredible machines to duplicate the hand-marbled paper, the sewing structure, and the leathercraft involved in making these fine books. We trust you’ll enjoy them as much as we enjoy making them.

How close are these to the originals?

They’re identical but for several points. 1) The text paper is close, but not exact.  After examining an awful lot of paper, we really like the texture and tone of these sheets. We use a closer match for restoration work, but it’s many times more expensive.  2) Our sewing technique (over cloth “tapes”) is far superior to the original method of sewing on notched-in cords. The original method takes less time (which is why 19th century binders liked it) but is fairly weak, a defect our restoration department is grateful for.

It sounds like you’re a pretty big outfit, with a restoration department and frequent mention of “we.” Just how big are you?

Not very big at all. I weigh in at about 150 pounds, and enjoy using the royal “we” both to divert attention from myself and to sound more dimensionally majestic than the singular “I” would convey. We (in the royal sense) employ occasional help as needed, and with your help will need more help.