As i sometimes like to tinker on stuff that i totally don’t know about. This time it was bookbinding. Turnes out its easier than you might think. All you might want is some basic garage workshop material you probably already have at home, some glue, your PDF to print and some time – only about a hour. It’s really fun, really easy and the results are great.
So, please come in and read the actual Article/Tutorial :P.
First off you need a nice way to print the book you want. Assuming you have a PDF lying around you’d want to make a book of as it was in my case (script for university) you’d need to bring it in book form. This means that you print (duplex) on A4 or LETTER pages with half width – you wouldn’t want a fullsize A4/LETTER book. You want your pages printed so that you can “cut through the middle” of your stack (well, you can – given the right equipment – cut ~15-20 pages at once, so you still need to split). Anyways, back to topic. To achieve this it was (for a nerd like me at least) the easiest to use psnup and psbook, two postscript manipulation utilities. If you use GNU/Linux your distribution should ship them in nice packages, Mac users can ask fink and Windows users cygwin to provide the software in a nice manner. Given your PDF you might want to:
psbook book.ps input.ps
psnup -l -p -2 book.ps booklet.ps
After that you have a landscaped PDF, two original pages on one (downscaled) with the ordering just to cut the stack in the middle and fold it together.
After printing remember to let the paper “rest” two-three days in a straight, flat position.
And now for the actual binding. I’ve added the description of what’s happening to the pictures, so feel free just to scroll through them and read up on what you gotta do.
With that you should have a not quite perfect but already very very useable book in almost no time. This one took me about 01:30h of work (subtracted the drying time as you will probably do something different then). Some hardcore bookbinding nerds would probably kill me for this tutorial/technique, but … it works, it gets you nice results, you can use the books in quite rough enviroments (ie carry around in your school/uni backpack every day). If you have a printer that does not choke on thicker paper you may also want to print the cover on your book-front – or just scribble or draw something neat on there :P.
I hope you liked this tutorial and also start making books yourself – as making things is really fun and somehow makes you just feel good :p. Enjoy