15 March 2010

Spring Books in Production No. 1

Not that things ever gets slow, but we’re kicking into overdrive for the next few weeks as our spring list moves through the presses and bindery in anticipation of the many launches and events planned for April. As usual, we’re running behind, and even with the help of a very able intern from Humber College named Laura (who keeps beating Gary at lunchtime cribbage), it’s going to be the usual race to deliver all our spring books to events and stores on time.

Today I letterpress-printed jackets for Tim Bowling’s new poetry book, The Annotated Bee and Me. We all worked on this book today, actually. Marilyn finished printed the last sheets this morning, and in the afternoon Gary folded these sheets into 8vo signatures which Connie gathered into book blocks ready for Smyth sewing.

Tomorrow, I’ll print the second colour on the jacket and score the folds with a platen press. In the meantime, we’ll sew, bind and trim the first batch of books and enfold them in their jackets for shipping later in the week. Tim is launching the book with a reading at Audrey’s Books in Edmonton on March 23rd.

We’re also putting together Peter Sanger’s epic book on the life and work of Toronto poet Richard Outram, entitled Through Darkling Air. This book is gigantic! At 512 pages, it’s the longest book we’ve ever produced.

We printed this book in January to beat the rush, but we are only binding it now. The binding will be a red cloth over boards with a snazzy jacket made with paper from The Japanese Paper Place in Toronto. These materials were selected to evoke the spirit of the little private press books and broadsides produced by Richard Outram’s own Gauntlet Press in its heyday.

I decided to carry the title information and the other insignias of commerce on a horizontal paper wrapper. This untrimmed book block made a quick test of the idea. The first fifty books are sewn and waiting to be cased later this week. Peter will be launching the book on April 9th at the Arts and Letters Club in Toronto.

… and there are three more Gaspereau books coming along fast on the tails of these two. Stay tuned for shop updates (and cribbage scores).


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