4/27/2011

The Alternative

I could tell you all about how I haven't slept well (nightmares, ugh), I forgot my school keys at home, my co-librarian had car trouble and was late today (and will be away at a conference the rest of the week), and the secretary called in sick (and we don't know whether to be concerned or P.O.'d that she played hooky to avoid dealing with the used book sale), or all the other pressure going on with grades and end of the year stuff that I'm just starting to comprehend, picking up cat meds and the chemo pills that arrived in an insulated bag with (melted) ice packs. . .

. . . but I'd rather provide you with something enjoyable. Go watch CCR's cool video find about making a book way back in the olden days of 1947. Pop some popcorn and show a kid. I might see if I can put it up for the fourth graders to see what they know about how a book is made. (Well, there is a section of the curriculum about the history of books!) It'd probably blow their minds.

Or confuse the heck out of them. *shrug* Fun either way.


3 comments:

Angela Noelle said...

I'm reading Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind right now, and it's fascinating reading about how a bestseller was put together and marketed in the 30s. Also incredible is how unhelpful publishers were, and how much work authors had to put into protecting their own work.

Dave E. said...

That's a cool video at CCR's, but it is very cool as historical documentation only. By the time I was trained as a pressman in the early 80s pretty much 70% of the jobs in that video were gone and the technology replaced. By the time I got out of the industry around 1998 I would guess that half the remaining jobs were gone as well. Computerization and digital imaging led to tremendous productivity gains in the printing industry during that period, but they savaged entire professions in the process. I saw it first hand.

Kate P said...

Angela--Wow, doesn't it seem as if that's coming around again with publishers being highly insular and selective, and more authors turning to self-publishing (which is finally starting to be more accessible and less shoddy-looking)?

Dave--Hmm, I was trying to figure out as I watched the video which steps had been replaced by automation and digital processes by now. I appreciate the firsthand account. It's always sad to see certain trades disappear but still fascinating to see processes evolve. Always makes me think of the agricultural/trade high school my friend J's younger brother attended--in the mid '90s we went to the annual fair, and the teacher who taught butchering was lamenting the decline in the number learning his trade. (That said, I wonder if it's making a comeback with the interest in co-ops and more natural, local food nowadays.)