Departments

Vanity two

For the reasons I explained on the same occasion last year, I have made paperback copies of year two of the Ruricolist available from Lulu. I intend to leave them there until the end of June. Same as last time, the PDF is free, and the book itself is priced one dollar above its printing cost.

A note on book design. Last year I tried to make the best of crude tools—a word processor, I admit—with an incunabular style. This year, using good tools—XeLaTeX with the KOMA-script book class—I have observed good proportion and a gray page. My efforts are obviated by my unwillingness to pay for a font or rigorously proofread—but my motive being my own archive, I cannot excuse that expense or effort.

The cover is less improved. It was not until I first tried to design a cover last year that I realized how little attention I pay to book covers, and how unfair my neglect is. I had assumed that at times I surely succumb and buy books for their covers, but after long meditation I could think of only one (The Khazar Dictionary), and while reading it I threw that cover out. I've tried to pay more attention over the last year, and to view good examples. The new cover borrows the conceit of the Penguin Great Ideas series to display a quote on the front (though the quote I used was more apropos than characteristic). The format of the back cover alludes to the essay Old textbooks. But still it does not impress me. Perhaps I will do better with Year Three.