I noticed recently, with some discomfort, that I have no good hardcopy of the Ruricolist. There are masses of marked-up drafts, but nothing legible, and nothing worth organizing. I considered printing it out myself; then it occured to me that it would be more economical (and easier to store) simply to make a PDF and send it off to Lulu to print as a paperback. I seized on the excuse:

The Ruricolist: Essays and Caprices: Year One

I have ordered my own; anyone else who wants a copy may order one until November, when I will take it down.

I am changing nothing here. I am doing this for my peace of mind; to have something to show people who don't know blogging from flogging, or are allergic to reading more than a screenful at a time; for the pleasures of amateur typography; and for vanity—if it be vanity to want to have my work as a thing with weight.

The text is that of the Ruricolist as it stands. I want to make improvements, but this is not the time for them.

To turn a blog into a book, even without expectations for it, is to incur suspicion: is the blog an imposture? A mere advertisement for what the blogger had in mind all along?

To doubts I can only answer that if the Ruricolist were not a blog, it would not exist. I have made just over 100 posts here. Perhaps a half-dozen were not originally written for the Ruricolist; perhaps a dozen more were ideas I had in advance. Without this blog, the rest would not exist at all. The Ruricolist has no resemblance to anything I would ever have thought of beforehand as a good idea for a book.

The PDF is free to download. I like how it looks. You can read it onscreen; you can print it yourself; you can spend nine dollars and fifty cents (plus shipping) at Lulu and give me .97 cents in royalties.

P. S. The name Argiope Press is after a beautiful species of spider that appears here too infrequently, Argiope aurantia, known sometimes as the writing spider for the patterns it weaves into its web for camoflauge. The cover image is a photo I took here on an unseasonably warm day of last December, with an interesting quality of light.

P. P. S. As of November 1st, as stated, I have taken the book down—retired it, in Lulu's language. If you want a copy of the PDF, write me directly.