Communion Of Dreams

To hold it, in your hands . . .
May 13, 2011, 11:21 am
Filed under: Art, Book Conservation, Publishing

My wife and I have been doing some work for a friend who has put together a miscellany – a collection of texts and images which he finds worthy, and which all inter-relate in some interesting ways. It’s been a fun project, working to design the layout and format of the final book, doing editing and so forth. It’s been a project which has been some months in the making.

Just now I finished running through a printer’s proof, showing how all the pages go together in the proper sequence so the thing can be properly sewn in sections, then bound – work I will take joy in doing. This is a fairly straight-forward matter, but you do have to check it, page by page and section by section, to make sure it was done correctly. It was, and now the proof is back off to the printer.

And it was wonderful to hold that proto-book in my hands. Wonderful, and a little wistful.

Wonderful, because while most of the actual work has been done already, it just didn’t seem entirely “real” until I had those pages in my hands, was able to flip through them, handle the physical artifact. It’s another example of turning a dream into a reality.

Wistful, because of the frustrating delays in getting my novel to the same point. And something of the sense that the caregiving book will not seem entirely real when it is just in an electronic format. I’m a bookbinder, used to handling books as artifacts, some of them centuries old, so I suppose it goes with the territory. A bias in my reality.

Jim Downey

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