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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

For the love of the spiral.

I own a decent amount of RPG books both old an new.
They are all either glue bound soft covers, "perfect bound" I think they call it, or case bound  hard covers. There is also a smattering of older or smaller staple bound zines or booklets.
Nothing spiral bound.
Until now.

I recently went through LULU to have one of my games printed for my fiends. I wanted to avoid perfect bound because I don't know how good LuLu's printers gluing methods are. (And I'm too lazy to ask G+ I didn't  want books that would dry out and fall apart in  year. I did not want to go hard cover because it was only 82 pages long and I figured a hard cover while tempting was just plain overkill.

Then I noticed they had an option in  A5 size for spiral bound at about 40 cents more than perfect bound. "Bound with a black plastic spiral though punched holes."
I did give some thought to pages pulling out form the  spiral, but put those thoughts to rest pretty quickly. I know my friends they treat books with care so I was not worried about thespiral binding causing too many issues.

It was a bit of a revelation when I got the finished books into my grubby mitts.
[Here is where I go on like I have never seen a spiral bound note book before ...hold on.. I sound like  a mesomorph, It should be entertaining.]

I love that the books lay flat.
Lays Flat as a MF'er
Perfectly flat with out having the crack the  spine of a new book, and without the book slamming shut every time I put it down on the table. I love that. I can't tell you how much.

Use a chart allot, Open the book to that page and flip it to the back.
Drop Charts? No problem. Did I mention the  book lays flat? In fact my next printed game will have more drop charts because I know they will work  without having to print them out.
Need photo copies, that's allot easier too.

Why are more people not doing this?
Considering RPG books are reference books that are used at the table, often opened to the same pages over and over again. The function of a spiral bound book seems a great fit to the  RPG hobby.

My first thought is having spiral bindings on a shelf in the your local brick and mortar game store would be a shelf space killing nightmare. I understand that. I'm not thinking of the Pathfinder or the  D&D 's of the  world anyway. I'm thinking more along the lines of the smaller do it yourself things that can be found on the web as print on demand.





The RPG industry has a traditional love affair with big fat hard cover books.  I think Charles Akins put it best during a conversation we had on twitter when he  tweeted (twated? **)
"Because our hobby is bound by tradition and hard backs are where we typically think perfection begins and ends."
He's right. It's a bit strange given that there are other options out there, and what we do with our books. It may even be true that a hard cover tome is always going to look better, last longer, and have a more impressive "feel" than any other option.

Even taking all that into account for me at the table functionality is king, and any of my small print projects form here on out are going spiral. ***


Embrace the spiral.



Thank you for reading~!
-Mark.






*I would say allot of books, but as soon as I say alot of books some yahoo would post a picture of their massive collection, to show that I don't have a truly large collection and that they are  in fact the superior hoarder.
** WTF is the  past tense of tweet?
*** Or ring bound , ring bound is  sweet nips as well.