Hein (fub) wrote,

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A given day

Robert van Gulik, a Dutch China-scholar, wrote the Judge Dee mystery novels, set in the China of the Tang dynasty. I read all of them: as novels they're not much special, but as (murder-)mysteries they are quite clever and contain a lot of 'local flavour' of the China of that period. Van Gulik even illustrated them in a style that is indistinguisable from the style used during the Ming dynasty.
Van Gulik wrote one mystery that wasn't set in China, but in Amsterdam, titled "A given day". It never got far -- I have it, have read it, and fully understand why he isn't remembered for his one non-Judge Dee novel. The most important clue is that the main character has a deadline of sorts on March 1st, but because it's a leap year, he gets an extra day to resolve his problems -- literally a 'given day'.

So it was only appropriate for me to take the leap day off from work, and give myself that day. Especially because the evening before, I got the covers for usmu's poetry bundle back from my bookbinding teacher. He has a foil-stamper, and has stamped the title of the bundle on the covers. And perhaps it's not entirely coincidental that the bundle is titled "On a given day".

The 'regular editions', with the dark brown cover, are stamped in silver foil, while the special editions have bright red covers and are stamped in gold. The font used was selected to sort-of match with the font used for the poems (it's not the same, but close enough). My bookbinding teacher really dislikes those 'flowery' fonts, so I think this is the first time they've been used in earnest! ;)

So with the cover stamped, I could start making the final books. There is a bit of variation between the covers -- if you have to cut 80 boards, some are bound to be a bit wider while others are a bit taller. I selected pairs of boards that are the same size and numbered them. One half of the pairs I had foil-stamped (to serve as the front cover), the other half will serve as the corresponding back cover. And here you see the result!

There's still a lot of work to be done to glue the books into the covers, but at least that's now a problem of the type 'apply butt to chair'.
Tags: craft

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