Well, we are indeed moving along.

I chatted with my printer. The books are printed, and are now being sewn. Wait till you read of the newest delay…

The books are bound with two cloth bookmarkers each, and the top of the book is gilded. I think these are nice features, the first for convenience, the second for protection. Gilding isn’t so much for appearance (although it has a nice look) but to protect the top edges of the paper from dust and contaminants that might accelerate decay. Now, it turns out that the binder doesn’t do the gilding. And it turns out that there is only one gilder left in the northern half of Italy. That fellow knows my binder, but he’s pretty busy. Still, the printer thinks it may still be done in April, and shipped.

If any of you are thinking of going into publishing, do let me know… I could use a good grin or two…

I’ll keep you informed.





  1. wrycur said,

    April 6, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Forget the gilding, Bob. Nothing is ever perfect. There’s always reason to delay. At this point people need to see books. They will just have to dust the tops once in a while.

    And I say this in the friendliest possible spirit.

    • rclacovara said,

      April 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      Well, the trouble is that I signed up for it, and it’s in the mix… who would have thought that the gilding would be an issue?


  2. töff said,

    April 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    I had never heard of, consciously taken note of, top-edge gilding (TEG) before. At first it sounded quite odd, like a cheap version of full gilding. So I looked it up. Gilding arose to prevent dust from chemically damaging the paper. Of course dust settles on top, so that’s where they gilded. Later, people decided to gild all around, purely for cosmetic reasons.

    I am no fan of “purely for cosmetic reasons,” so I embrace this TEG concept. I had no clue that it was in the CVIE plan, but I like it.

    I knew I had a few gilded books in my house, so I went around and checked whether any were TEG. My omnibus of Raymond Chandler’s novels, from Chatham River Press, is a very nice clothbound edition, marbled endpapers, very high quality all around — with 3-side gilding. But my International Collectors Library copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (which I am rather abashed to admit I’ve never read), while not really as nice a volume, physically, is TEG. It also has untrimmed signatures, which my wife suddenly proclaimed a few days ago that she’s a fan of. [Aside: the book I’m reading now, Shirer’s 3rd Reich history, is dyed red on the top edge (only). I wonder whether that’s a cheaper method of dust protection? Then I think of all the paperbacks I own that are dyed all around … hmm, I shall have to look into this!]

    I know there is concern over the timeframe. I, too, am quite eager. Perhaps we might help the process a little by signing up in advance for the gilding on the next two print runs? “Make a reservation,” so to speak? Having worked in the print industry for many years, I know that those jobs in the pile that were placed earlier tend to get pushed up an extra notch. (Alas, print production is nothing like a first-come-first-serve arrangement.)

    Anyway, I’m guessing that the first run will pave the way for smoother transactions in the second and third runs.

    Meanwhile, my mind is on building a slipcase of some sort … and finishing this monstrous Shirer book in time for the CVIE.

    • rclacovara said,

      April 6, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      You are quite right. Gilding was intended to protect the top edges. The all-around stuff is an affectation, and I suspect that sometimes, it’s just ink.

      My intent has always been to produce a fine, archival quality book, particularly for what you’ve paid for it. This involved taking care and time, of course. I didn’t expect this “little” step to slow us down, but as they say, “the devil is in the details”.

      That being said, I think we’ll see the last four books arriving in fair order after the first two.

      • töff said,

        April 6, 2010 at 8:56 pm

        > “archival quality”

        I’m still interested in learning the precise sort of imaging technology used to put words onto paper. If the make & model of the machinery could be stated, I imagine I could look it up on the net.

        It’s rather astounding if you look around at all the past and present sorts of printing technology we’ve known over the ages: inks, toners, dyes, thermal-activated coatings … it’s really labyrinthine!

      • rclacovara said,

        April 7, 2010 at 11:43 am

        As soon as I kick this message off, I’ll ask my printer once more…


      • rclacovara said,

        April 7, 2010 at 12:29 pm

        I sent the query off. We’ll see what she says. My compositor is curious as well: he’s spent his career in pre-press, and I’m lucky to have a professional to set the books.


  3. TH said,

    April 7, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Like Töff, I think the top-edge gilding sounds good. There has already been so much delay that some more doesn’t matter to me, personally. In fact, I’m hoping that the Euro, which has weakened against the dollar quite a bit in recent months, might strengthen a bit in the meanwhile.

    • rclacovara said,

      April 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Well, I wanted the gilding as first, functional, and secondly, because it looks nice. But the books are getting nearer to completion (the first two, for shipping) and although I regret the delay, my hope is that everyone who buys a set feels that the wait was worth it.

      As to the Euro… well… I pay for the books in Euros, but I charge for the books in Dollars. So when the Euro moves relative to the dollar, I hold my breath. Naturally, if it weakens too much, it hurts buyers in the EU. If it strengthens, that’s good for the EU folks, but not so hot for me. Such is life. I had originally thought of adding a cost rider to the total cost, or even offering the sale in Euros, but then it just seemed way too complex.

      Onward. Or, as we once printed, “Forward” for “Foreword”.


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