Before the laser printer, before machines that allowed us to mass produce any kind of product, book-making was difficult and arduous. These days, we wouldn’t consider book-making as a trade or an occupation. You might operate machines that construct books, but it just doesn’t require as much training and skill as it once did. I think it’s easy to be of two minds on book-making — I think it’s wonderful that we no longer have to put so much effort into books because they are now more easily made and more readily available. On the other hand, I’m somewhat nostalgic for those typesetters who place little metal rectangles into a machine and press out letters onto paper. And perhaps if more effort had to be put into creating books we would endeavor to avoid wasting typesetter’s time on a book “written” by Snooki. In any case, here is an interesting video on how books used to be made, courtesy of Boing Boing.
— Jet Fuel Editor, Mary Egan