The first post on this blog was published ten years ago tomorrow, on the 19th of September, 2010. It discussed the International Standard Book Number. When I first started I had accumulated a few pieces which I had thought would be published in the Book Industry Guild of New York’s newsletter under the heading “Why is that?”. The aim of these pieces was to explain industry jargon, which can differ between Britain and America, to record processes which were disappearing as technology evolved, and to provide instruction for people starting out in book production. A few of the early pieces actually were published at the BIGNY newsletter (it was still called The Bookbinders’ Guild of New York at that time) but it soon became clear that this wasn’t a long term publishing plan. The newsletter was indeed eventually abandoned. Thus I started out with a bit of a backlog. On the second day of the blog’s existence I did ten posts. These were “In Print and Out of Print”; “Demy Octavo”; “Collotype”; “Cast Off”; “Colophon”; “Royalties”; “Margins”; “Basis Weight”; “Pica”; and “Galleys”. All pretty basic publishing stuff, except perhaps for Collotype. You can easily access them via the link above to the ISBN post: just click forward step by step in that rule-bound row just above the post. Alternatively you can access a month-by-month archive by scrolling down to the very bottom of the page. It goes without saying that I regard all ten (eleven) of these old posts as every bit as essential reading as they were back then! I have subsequently been cajoled into promising never to post more than once a day, and I tend to avoid weekends too; though I’ll occasionally add a jokey one on Saturdays.

My most visited post is Edition vs. impression, which seems to get about seventy or eighty views a week. Seems it’s those nuts and bolts things, which is how this all started out, that people are looking for help with.

A decade is a nice round total, but I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t keep on going. It is obviously true that each passing year sees me further removed from the day-to-day tangles of publishing: it’s been seven years since anyone paid me to do anything in that way. Still, not being present at the coal face doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a nice blazing fire. As I wrote recently I loved every day of my life in book publishing. So there’s no possibility of my stopping thinking, and reading, and holding forth, (or should it be pontificating) about it.