The slog of the blog book

I’m pushing ahead with the book of the blog. Having established a cut-off date for the end of 2017, I made sure that I cleared away two of my long-standing journeys (OFC and Roundsheet) by the deadline, and ended up with about 350 pages of blog posts. That’s when the grind really started and I had to go through all of them, separating them into 16 page sections ready for bookbinding. As I went through I was ensuring that the background documents accessed from links in the blog were reproduced in full in an Appendix. This was a major exercise which eventually produced a further 465 pages – all of which in their turn had to be separated into 16 page sections.

I now have 52 separate sixteen page sections, and another final section which is growing as I edit each section one last time and assemble the index and the timeline (a list of post titles in date order). In this final edit I’m also ensuring that the cross-post links and the links to Appendix documents are all consistently formatted and include the correct page number to elsewhere in the book. I decided to do this because it is the effortless ability to jump between links, and the absence of any particular space constraints, that distinguishes electronic systems from paper books – and I have taken advantage of both features extensively in the blog. So, when I decided to reproduce the blog in book form, I was determined to try to match those capabilities to the greatest extent I could. Hence, ALL the background documents have been included; and every cross reference includes a page number that goes straight to the relevant content. The only links that don’t have a page number reference are those to material elsewhere in the net which is produced by other people – I rationalised that a blog book should only include material produced by the owner of the blog.

The inclusion of linking page numbers and the creation of the index and timeline are making the final edit a slow process which may take a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about the type of paper I should use to print the book. Having assembled all the text, I can see that, if I used the same paper as I used for the ‘Sounds for Alexa’ book, the text block would be 5.5 times the thickness of the Sounds book – some 8.25 cm – a huge tome. The Sounds book was printed on 125 gsm paper, so I tried looking on the net for some thinner bookbinding paper but had no success – specialist A4 bookbinding papers sold in packs as opposed to single sheets, seem to be few and far between and I didn’t come across any that were thinner than 125 gsm. I discussed this with George Davidson, my tutor on the Bookbinding course at the Bedford Arts and Crafts Centre, and he said he would investigate a 100 gsm paper with one his regular suppliers and suggested that it might be feasible to buy a paper in larger sheets and cut them down to A4. In the meantime, I will continue to plough through the final editing of the 50+ sections.

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