Stop! Try It! Appreciate It!
I guess maybe I have fallen off the balance beam of life just once to often. I have never been satisfied with just accepting something just because it was--there. Maybe it's my weird curiosity about things that are maybe mundane, simple objects that we use in some way everyday. Of course you can just go to the store and buy them and never give it another thought. No--I just got to try it out.
The industrial revolution brought simple inventions to a higher level and continues to improve on those very simple objects more each and every day.
As I sit here and look around this room, what I see mostly is book shelves that are spilling over with books that I am unable to part with. Oh yes, I have read them all and plan on going tomorrow to Books-A-Million to purchase several more. Of course, I will toss a few Audio Books in that same basket.
I studied the spine of several of those books that are well worn and ask-my-self. What would it be like to make a book. No! No!, not to send it out and have it printed and then have it assembled with a machine cutting and gluing or stapling the pages. Lets start with a simple paper-back book.
Yes, I did cheat a bit by using the computer to type a novel and my printer to print each page--two-sided printing, 300 pages. Keep in mind a standard paper- back book is 4½ X 7¾. (That was the easy part.)
Now folding each 8½ X 11 printed paper in exactly half was not always as easy as it sounds, so I fashioned a straight edge box to fold into---this saved a lot of cutting later.
There are two ways to hand bind this type of book---sewn signatures or perfect binding. I chose the latter. Now in most perfect-binding the folded signatures are later guillotine-trimmed on all four sides---eliminating altogether the folded backs of the sewn signatures.
Now this is were you need a lot of patience, (I have-nod-da). A clamp device to hold the pages. Then you need to lay a strip of (Mull) "a open weave fabric," over the spine and apply book binding glue generously and evenly.
Once again after this one at a time---drying is completed or using several clamps for a little speeder progress. It is time to add your cover sheet and glue it to the spine.
As I mentioned previously this takes a lot of time and a lot of patience but it does make one appreciate the technology and machinery that we have not to create this wonderful thing we hold in our hand and enjoy and learn so much from.
This method that I used above was very frustrating and time consuming. Yet, that being said you and you alone have to weigh the cost and time that fits your needs. There are many new methods that you can use today that are much faster but note---so are some of the equipment and tools that you would need. Of course you can go to a printer and have all of this done.
As I said at the beginning, I just had to try this from scratch just to see how it was done before all of our great technology came along. Tomorrow when I go to Books-A-Million, I will stop and touch and pet some of those paper-backs with a lot more respect.
• Books succeed,/lives fail ---Elizabeth Barrett Browning