Monthly Archives: July 2011

Another way to adapt books – downsize

I’ve started a series I call ‘passports to’: A6 size, i.e.  passport size – thin enough to go in a standard envelope  for 50 cents NZ. They are cute, and readable because they’re short enough to retain a standard sized font.

It doesn’t give the same scope for carved edges etc, but the covers could be embossed, and the paper special. I already do blank notebooks like that:

There may be a case for more passport-sized books, condensed for the modern lifestyle where space and time is so short…

Also it is traditionally a nice size for special little sacred books like meditations or short tales or sermons etc. One of my most valued books when i was a teenager was ‘The Greatest Thing in The World’, an inspiring sermon on Love. It was blue,thin, and smaller than A6, given to me by mum, and it changed my life.

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WordPress lets me be low-tech

Wow, you can click the option to send blogs by email.
Which is great since (for unknown reasons) the broadband at the housetruck on our land will not connect to the wordpress site…
it even uploads images. This is the paperback version of the Girl and the Guardian:

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The book as sculptured temple.

This was my attempt to make a book as a carved ‘container’ for the content – the epic of Apples of Aeden. It meant inventing a way to carve the book edges. When all five volumes are at a stable stage i hope to do a limited edition set of five, presumably boxed… This method can be used on a normal-priced perfect-bound paperback, so it is not too expensive to make, though it is hand-finished. i sold all i got round to making of this limited edition (13 or so out of 999) at $95 retail in 2009.  (Normal paperback price was $35. If there was a LOTR in this style i would have been very tempted. Would you be?)

 

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Relating to the Sacredness of the Book

How do we relate to books? In lots of ways – emotionally, ritually, logically; by looking, touching, handling, listening, reading, viewing. Which are the most important? If we know the mix of values involved, we can change the presentation of the book and make a ‘blue ocean’ (see the book Blue Ocean Strategy 2005) of demand somewhere away from the status quo of the industry, which has been running itself into the ground as the web lets anyone publish anything for nothing if they go ebook. Now the ‘gatekeepers’ are overrun, and the physical bookstores are seemingly unable to profit when the inventory grows exponentially and the market fragments to match. The industry is being driven to digital.

We still love to touch books, keep them as physical things that never turn off. they are like sculptures, shrines to the content within, sacred objects, places we visit – portable temples. but we only need so many ‘temples’ – the rest can be digital. the ipad or other tablet device is a temple too – a temple to evolving variety – all conceivable content, past present and future. A bit like a portable cinema of words – and all the images and sounds and interactivity that can go along with the words.

If the form of a tablet could morph to match the content, that would be great. but at least for now we still want the book-as-object – for our favourite books anyway. Especially the romantic ones, like fantasies. 🙂 That’s where i come in! Make the Book a thing of beauty, magic, a sacred space to house and honour the content.

And maybe change the mix so it can be more affordable while still ‘limited edition’ and sacred.

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