November 14, 2010: In A Bind
One of my (many) hobbies is self-binding books. I don't do anything terribly fancy – mostly what can be done at the local copy shop, with a few extras – but I can do them at home, in short runs if I want to. This has come in handy as the e23 Manager, since I have lots of electronic gaming files from e23 that I love having paper copies of.
So what equipment is most useful for the home bookmaker? This isn't an exhaustive list, but more of a "starter set." Here, then, is my list of must-haves.
I have a bunch of other tricks, but these'll get you started for a lot of projects.
As far as getting all this stuff, the biggest tip I can offer is to shop garage sales and (especially) office or library sales. I bought my duplex laser printer for $5 at a garage sale three years ago. At a library sale last year, I picked up the color laser printer for $10 (talked down from $20) and an industrial comb binder for $20. All these items are durable and high-quality, and might outlive me. (If buying a used printer, remember that most printers come with self-test functions – usually activated by holding down a button for several seconds. Each used printer I've purchased I was able to plug into a nearby outlet and test to make sure it worked before I lugged it home . . . which was convenient with the color laser printer, since it probably weighs 100 pounds.)
Remember, too, that you don't need to buy everything all at once. If you forgo the comb binder to start with, you can still go to the local copy shop with pages you printed yourself; they can comb-bind them for only a few bucks.
So if you're bemoaning the fact that your favorite e23 supplement hasn't had a print version yet, why not take matters into your own hands? As a bonus, you'll have a copy you won't be afraid to make notes in or take into a bath.
-- Steven Marsh
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