I’ve mentioned Nanami Paper before when writing about the thin Tomoe River paper I like to use when inserting note pages into a Bible, and now I’d like to point you to the site for a lucid demonstration of an old trick for dealing with thin paper and “show-through.” Since Dave at Nanami sells a lot of notepads and bound books that use thin paper, he’s familiar with the show-through dilemma and has written a step-by-step explanation of the problem and how to solve it by placing a sheet of dark paper behind your page. Look at the difference:
This works with handwritten pages like the ones in the photo, and with the printed pages in your Bible, too. Click through and read Dave’s entire post:
There are a couple of points I’d like to highlight. First, you’ll notice that even a highly coveted, cult-status paper like Tomoe River suffers from show-through. The reason fountain pen users love this paper is that it shows off the properties of their ink to best effect (if you love shading inks, you’ll love this paper). Even a wet, broad nib will not bleed through the page. Try that with your Moleskine. Second, this ought to call into question an assumption we often make — namely that show-through is the result of publishers using “bad paper.” Tomoe River isn’t bad paper, it’s great paper. But it does have show-through because, hey, it’s quite thin.
If your ambition as far as Bibles go is to have minimal show-through, then you’re not after good paper per se, you’re after opaque paper — which might be expensive, but might also be cheap. Thickness is a major factor, so ironically, with more expensive thin papers, you might actually be paying more money for less opacity. The trade-off is, you get a thinner book.
For example, I’ve been using one of Dave’s brilliant Seven Seas Tomoe River A5 Journals (I’ll write more about this on my other blog at some point), and while I get a lot of show-through writing on both pages, I absolutely love the paper’s ink-handling characteristics and the fact that I get so many pages — 480 — in such a handy form factor. That’s the same trade-off we face with our Bibles, and they require quite a few more pages.
Now I would love for someone to figure out the secret of super thin, 100% opaque paper, and I’m not suggesting that we take the pressure off publishers to do better in terms of opacity. Just recognize that the issue is complex, there are interim solutions, and “good” paper isn’t the issue — opaque paper is.
Allan Commemorative Editions, Part 2: If you enjoyed the photos by Jesus Saenz of the R. L. Allan New Classic Readers Commemorative ESV, how about a look at its cousin, the Longprimer Commemorative (aka, the 53COM)? These were sent to me by a reader named Chad:
I got one of the Allan KJV 53COM’s and I took some pics. I read someone say that the color changes in different light, it is true. Sometimes it is brown, other times it is red.
Nothing New Under the Sun, Part 2: The intrepid Mark Strobel, whose good offices paved the way for BDB’s look at the exquisite Arion Bible awhile back, noticed something interesting while watching the telly:
Your recent post about how Cambridge beat you to Bible yoga, came to mind as I was watching a BBC show about Advent and Christmas traditions on the Isle of Man. Apparently the residents of the Isle of Man beat 2Krogh and Cambridge in publishing flipback editions of books. Here are some screencaps of a book containing Manx Carvals. Fascinating.
J. Mark Bertrand
How’s that for a title?
As a wise man once said, there’s nothing new under the sun. Bible Design Blog has inspired a number of people to post reviews of Bibles, and my “yoga” pose (in which I roll up fine leather covers in ways that make the purists cringe) has been widely imitated. Turns out, though, the idea isn’t original to me. Chris Scotti has been in Christian publishing for years, and he recalls something similar being done in training seminars back in the 1980s:
In the old days in Christian retail (1980s) Cambridge used to have Bible sales training seminars and the easiest way to get a customer to spend the extra $20-$50 was to roll up the berkshire cover and let it unroll itself. Something you could never do with a bonded leather. They also used to give sales clerks an incentive of 1 free Bible of your choice when you sold 10.
Ah, the good old days, when trained and knowledgeable retailers stocked quality Bibles that you could walk in and touch. I don’t know which one I miss more: the bricks and mortar shops, or the mere $20-$50 premium.
The R. L. Allan New Classic Readers Commemorative Edition ESV features one of the most beautiful bindings I have seen from the Allan shop, a natural grain antique mahogany goatskin whose exquisite color variation is highlighted in these photos courtesy of Jesus Saenz. The edition was limited to 150 copies. Enjoy the photos … and if you have one of these, let us know what you think. — JMB
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