I took a vacation day on Friday, ostensibly to work on my kitchen rehab – but my lunch “meeting” and shopping trip were a great deal more fun than installing a sub-floor and leveling cabinets. Chris and I met at Tom+Chee for grilled cheese and tomato soup, then ambled the few blocks down to one of my favorite places in Cincinnati: Ohio Book Store.
With five floors of used books, it’s the perfect place to search for 1930s novels to use as exemplars for the design and production choices for Roy Underhill’s forthcoming book, “Calvin Cobb – Radio Woodworker! A Novel with Measured Drawings.”
Because Roy’s book will feature illustrations, we spent a most of our limited time (we were both parked at 1-hour meters) perusing the shelves in the “juvenile” section, thinking books therein would be most like the look we want…not that we yet know exactly what that look is.
The content of the volumes didn’t matter to us at all; they just had to look good. But rest assured – we weren’t just judging the books by their covers – we also judged their bindings, typography and layout. (Don’t worry; we’ll skip the self-destructing acid paper common in the period – that’s a verisimilitudinal* step too far).
I think we got four books for less than $20, each of which had things we liked and things we didn’t – or things we loved but are likely impractical (inked edges on the pages, for example). We’ll pass these along to the designer for inspiration…a hand-off I’m hopeful will come soon, so she or he can get started on the layout and font selection.
I mentioned last week that I’ve the updated manuscript in hand, and I’ve now completed a full read-through and have just a couple of questions for Roy. The next step is to talk with Roy about my notes and any additional edits he wants to make, then fact-check all dates, building names, numbers etc., and finalize the illustrator. We’ll be working on the drawings alongside layout, leaving blank pages where the art will later be dropped in.
Right now, we’re on schedule to have it edited, illustrated, printed, bound and on its way to you well before the end of the year.
* Yes, I know that’s not a word – but it should be, along with “whelmed.”