Sense and Sensibility

My girlfriend’s birthday was earlier this month and I had no money to buy her something. So what did I get her? A book! That I made! With text I got on the internet! For free! Legally!

The book was Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, obtained from Project Gutenberg, a pretty cool resource for old things written by now dead people.

I laid it out in Word with a 5.5″ by 8.5″ page setup, the dimensions of a letter paper folded in half, so as to not waste any real estate. Then I exported as a PDF and used Acrobat to print it in booklet form with two pages on each side. This one turned out to be 208 pages original. With double-sided booklet printing, that’s 52 printed pages.

I took every five printed pages, that is, every 20 pages of the book, and bound them together with thread. This is called a “signature.” Here’s all 11 of them.

Then, using such professional tools as a ruler, a guitar capo, a pencil, and a clamp thing that came with a generic dremel tool, I clamped all the signatures together and glued them up with some binding glue.

After a whole bunch of coats of that stuff, it gets a cardstock cover.

Opened to a random page, in proof that it is, in fact, a real book.

Total project time: a solid 5 or 6 hours

This is actually the second Jane Austen book I’ve made for my girlfriend, the first one being Pride and Prejudice. To friends and relatives who may receive such an affordable (but thoughtful!) gift like this from me for Christmas, please forget everything you just read. Yay!!

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