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Archive for December 2013

Are words and books connected might seem like a strange question but the books I'm referring to are notebooks. Specifically, the lined notebooks ~ complete with page numbers ~ that I enjoy making. Many people make blank notebooks; some people make lined notebooks; but I enjoy making lined notebooks with words in the margins. You might not be able to see the words in this notebook, but at the top on all the pages are words in Japanese and their English equivalent. Many are useful but there are also puns, homophones, and phrases.

This particular book is A6 ~ pocketbook ~ in size with about 180 pages. It is, of course, lined and has page numbers plus the words at the top in two languages. The cloth used for the cover was purchased at a street fair and backed with paper so I could use it as book cloth. I have made my own backing but this time I splurged on an iron-on variety. I used the iron-on variety for two reasons: I don't have the space to splash a lot of water around and it's quicker. In the future, I might go back to making my own backing but as for now, I just want to use up as much cloth as I can before rushing out to buy more bookcloth. Plus, making my own book cloth helps create unique books.
Speaking of quicker, from printing the pages out on my soul-sucking Epson printer to pulling the complete book out from under the weights it slept under for a night, took about 12 hours. InDesign was a big help and if my printer didn't eat a page, and thereby screw up all the page numbers and layout for subsequent pages, it would be quicker. This particular layout is on my computer in both A6 and B5 sizes.

The endpapers, though, are very Japanese-y and not that cheap. Not that expensive but the paper was purchased at a Japanese paper shop here in town and comes in a large sheet. Seeing as how the words are in English and Japanese, I thought this paper was a good choice. Better than a marbled paper, in any case.
At first I was going to print the name on the cover but then I decided my printer would probably have a seizure and refuse to thread it through. I didn't want to jam up my  printer when I have a  lot of reports to finish; if I ever get around to them. Therefore, no printing on the cover. I might make a dust cover for it. That would be a first. This book had a couple of firsts already though. The first first was the iron-on backing for the cloth. The second first was my attempt at getting it done fast. From tweaking the InDesign file to folding & sewing to gluing and making the cloth was, as I said, about 12 hours ~ including sleeping under pressure. I think I can speed things up and make more in one sitting if I were industrious enough.


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Tuna Imagination's subtitle is A Fictive Collective which  means it has snippets of history, fiction, one complete short story, an array of pictures and doodles, and is in many ways a hodgepodge of miscellany. 

What kind of history?
Mostly related to books and printing especially about Aldus Manutius, inventor of the comma; also Xenia Cage (John's ex-wife) who was Marcel Duchamp's bookbinder, and Nicholas Jensen.

What kind of pictures and doodles? Well, of course, Xenia's photo but also a post-modern printing done by Manutius in the 1400s in which the words formed the pictures - an innovation then as well as unique 600 years later. Plus pictures gleaned from Das Google to illustrate something in the short story - an episodic short story interspersed amongst the snippets of fiction and history.

And what is the short story? It's a story about a college student who discovers the meaning of life through a punch in the nose that gives him cerebrospinal fluid rhinorrhea. i.e. his brains leak out through his nose and while he slips in and out of a coma, he envisions the snippets of fiction and history. He is, in other words, the narrative glue that holds the book together. Kind of.

And why was Tuna Imagination made? To celebrate the joy of bookmaking ~ making books, not gambling.It is seven signatures of four sheets each for about 110 pages (both sides) and B6 in size (51/4 x 71/2" to my Norther American brethren). It was written quickly, put on InDesign, printed out, adjusted, and re-written without regard to standard fiction standards; also, it was an experiment.

I printed the cover on bits & pieces of leftover book cloth, but first I glued the pieces onto construction paper. One reason the front and back cover colors are not perfectly aligned, especially the red, is the quantity of book cloth for all colors was different. I am attempting to use up as much book cloth as possible before splurging on more.

Coming soon: lined and unlined notebooks and 2014 schedules.

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