Thursday, July 18, 2013
A Book Is A Big, Fat, Bargain!
Even in the earliest of times, man felt a need to keep records and to express himself. Before paper was known, people used stone, clay, papyrus, large flat leaves and more to do this. Simple marks became language for the future generations. Little by little, the idea of creating an entire book went from the seed to the accomplished task. And aren't we all the magnificent benefactors of all those who came before us and created BOOKS?
When you stop and think about it, just as the poster above claims, a book truly is an astonishing thing. That statement can be divided into two separate sections, yet each needs the other.
Section A: Someone must write the thousands of words that, strung together, tell us a story or give us information on a subject of the author's choice. Those who write know that is no simple task. Then comes the editor/publisher. They have to be the mean guys and slash some of those precious words an author wrote with such verve.
Section B: The publisher works with the printer to set up the format in which a book will be printed. A font, or type, must be chosen, the kind of paper used will be selected, a cover created. Sometimes a foreward is included, a bibliography if needed, an index, even a glossary--depending on the kind of book that is being created.
There's more that goes into writing and producing a book that we read, but the above are some of the main components needed.
As readers, we scan the shelves of thousands of books at bookstores and libraries. Hundreds of thousands, even millions, of words are there for us to choose from. Do we consider a book because it has a pretty cover? Occasionally, but it's not the deciding factor in making a selection. Instead, we read the frontispiece to get an idea of what the book is about, or the back cover which often includes quotes regarding the book from well-known authors. We might scan the Table of Contents or flip through the book and read an excerpt or two before we walk to the cashier or librarian to check out.
Next, we settle down somewhere, as soon as time will allow, to open the book and begin to read. When I do that, I feel as if I am opening a treasure chest that's washed ashore, hoping that it will be filled with gold, not empty.
I must admit that I don't give much thought to how that book was created. Instead, I'm greedy to get into the story that awaits. But perhaps the next time you, or I, pick up a book, we should spare a minute or two and consider all that had to happen to bring the book into my own hands. From writer to editor to publisher to printer who all had a part in creating the book. Then maybe the price of a book won't seem quite so bad. In fact, maybe it's a big, fat, bargain!