Re: Lay-flat options for the Guide
Fri, 06 February 2004 13:37
Thank you very much for your thoughts about the spiral binding. My apologies I didin't reply sooner. Forgive me.
I couldn't agree more that it would be fantastic if the guide would lay open flat. When I first took over the guide, I looked very hard at all the lay-flat options I could find, including sprial binding. I eliminated spiral bindings as an option becasue of the size and weight of our pages and the hard use our guides are subject to. Where you might have a large chart table that can accomodate the open book, many readers have the book out in the weather or shoved under the dodger or cockpit cushions where the spiral willl inevitably get bent or damaged, which quickly leads to pages tearing out at their perforations--your basic mess! We struggle, for instance, with the pages of our chart kit charts, which are spirtal bound. The spirals have gotten bent, so the pages have to be very carefully manuevered in the spiral when turning them, and despite that care, there is a sheef of loose charts floating around in the chart drawer.
Another lay-flat option, which I thought was better, was called an Oto-binding system, where the cover is not glued to the spine, so the spine, with very flexible glue, can bend upward within the spine to allow the pages to open completely. But again, I thought the system too weak for onboard (particularly in the cockpit) use.
I have to mention a bias, too. As a child in first grade, my school had math workbooks with perferated pages, so we could do the problems on the pages and then tear them out and turn them in to the teacher for graading. But evertime the teache said turn to page sucha and such, inevitably my page would have somehow fallen out and disappeared. When the teacher began to accuse me of tearing the pages out so I wouldn't have to do the work, I began to have nightmares about "math time." I don't want the same when it is time to enter a tricky harbor in the fog!
We opted finally for conventional binding (perfect binding) that we have stitched together for added strength in the hardcover edition. This is a compromise, and like all all compromises, it is less than perfect in all conditions. It doesn't lay flat, the spines can break (just as the spirals can be bent) if the book is shoved under the cockpit cushion to hold it open and then indavertantly sat on. I thought an integral marker ribbon might be a good idea, like a good cookbook, but it proved too expensive, and I thought any creative individual could tape a piece of wool or some other telltale into the book as a marker ribbon.
What I hadn't counted on was someone as creative as you! I'd love to have a picture of you running the Guide through the table saw! Did you have a sprial binding put in, or did you put the pages in a loose-leaf binder?
So, to answer you question, I don't have any plans for spiral binding in the future, though my eyes are always open for a good way to make the guides lay flat.They say that someday books will be printed on demand so logically, they will have to be bound on demand. Perhaps spiral bindings could be an option. Or maybe by then there will be a better solution to the lay-flat vs strength dilemna.
Thank you again for your comments.