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Archive for December 2012

Roundback01.jpgMy bookbinding teacher allowed me to try my hand at a round-backed book and this is my first attempt. It has 400 pages, all blank except for one which has a drop of my blood on it from where I stabbed myself with a needle. Fortunately, I only stabbed myself once as I was using five needles at the time. My first five-needle sewing and my first round backed book. Wow, two firsts in one book. It is also B6 in size, I think. And no, that is not a full-sized sake (酒) bottle, it's a smaller one, luckily.

More people feel as if the following six requirements make a 'real' book:

1. Hard cover 2. headbands 3. rounded back 4. content 5. Writing/design/picture on the cover 6. Writing on the spine forcing a right-handed head tilt.

Some people even insist on leather covers but when I ask them when was the last time they bought a leather covered book the answer is somewhere between never and never.

Roundback03.jpgBlank books, coptic binding, book covers made of paper... these don't, to some people, convey the idea of a real book. So, I'm working on including all six of the 'requirements' in my books as possible. And the more requirements I add, the more people compliment my work. Is this because I'm meeting their expectations or I'm actually getting better at bookmaking?

This book also has my first use of marbled endpapers. Not a cheap option, let me tell you, but it fit really nicely with the cover. So it has three firsts in one book. My, what an exciting time it has been.

CalvadoCoverSmall.jpgThe second re-write of Calvado: A Deadly Love Story is in progress. I hope to have it up on smashwords.com by the end of January. Calvado is the story of a model/medical student who gets involved with a singer with a mysterious disease. There is love, death, violence, mystery, humor, and medical mnemonics. It is also the first in the Calvado Pentalogy. In each book of the Calvado Pentalogy, Calvado makes an appearance, though she might not always be the center of attraction (which is something she doesn't really want to be anyway.)

Enjoy your winter vacation! See you next time.


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Episode 93: More Years


Two books today, both related to living in the material world. First, a B6-sized (41/4" by 6+") schedule book, suitable for pockets and colorful enough not to get lost in a dim theater. This one has two yearly calendars (one for 2013 and the following year), a fifteen-month calendar (from January 2013 to March 2014), and about 100 lined pages for notes and memos of your choice.

Plus it has photos taken around the Kanazawa area, complete with temples, rivers, back alleys, and traffic jams. Localized and unique, if you will.

Red13_2.jpgThe second book with the T on the front is really a business card. The T, of course, stands for Tedorigawa. I plan to hand this out to the first real store (bricks and mortar? Probably reinforced concrete and steel) that deigns to accept my wares for sale.  It has 100 lined pages for memos and to-do lists plus it has my Facebook , podbean, and email address on each and every page for handy viewing by the store staff.

Plus it also has photos taken around Kanazawa including a photo of me at the back. For easy reference should I stop by the store. And identification should the police need one.


Making these were part of my self-induced self-directed apprenticeship in making more books well more often. I've got the more books more often part down

but I'm having trouble with the 'well' part. I hope that comes with more practice.

As can be seen on my Facebook, I'm making a book by sewing on cords for the first time. New experience, new learning curve, more frustration, eh? We live, we learn, we evolve.


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Tsai_2.jpgAfter having made my first (primero) double book, I decided to give it another shot; try again, so to speak. The first one came out good so why not, eh? This second (segundo, or in Arabic: ثان) double book is made up of misprints and mistakes from making the previous 2013 schedule books which can be seen below in Episode 90.

The Red Side is made up of ten signatures of five sheets each for 200 pages. It comes with Chinese lettering on the cover and a reddish orange bookmark. And a picture of Cai Lun - inventor of paper circa 105 AD.

The Yellow Side is made up of ten signatures as well for about 200 pages making the combined book a total of 400 pages. It also has a yellow bookmark and random pictures of Kanazawa.

Tsai_1.jpgWhat do we take away from this exploration into bookmaking? First, making dos-a-dos was not as difficult as I first thought. Intimidation was my main stumbling block which, upon reflection, causes many a person to stumble.

Second, these types of books were often used for double novels, especially science fiction, in the past. I think they'd make for easier reading than as a blank journal. They're a bit cumbersome to write in.

All-in-all a good experience that I enjoyed having but I doubt I'll make more unless I have a novel or two to print and sell. (Hint, hint: TristramCoverSmall.jpgTristram'sPrinter and The Venetian Slime Woman1.jpg - both available at Smashwords.com for reasonable prices: $2.99 and $1.99, respectively.)

See  you next week with two more 2013 Schedule Books!

Coming Soon to Smashwords -  Calvado: A Deadly Love Story



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