Giving Trees

One trend we’ve been discussing in Contemporary Publishing is the rise of the boutique publisher, who crafts books as beautiful objects in an age when everything is going digital. I was just reading an article on this subject, about books with hand-stitched binding, and while I agree that we shouldn’t be cutting down trees to print more paperbacks, I was confused as to why they would brag about making their books with recyclable paper. Recycled paper, I get. That would make sense, and would be noble enough to deserve some bragging. But if the book is a lovingly crafted object, then why would anyone care if the pages were recyclable?

It is one of life’s little cruelties that I feel this quiet affinity with trees… which are cut down to make books. I’ve been told in the past that recycled paper makes for terrible printing, but maybe someday we’ll come up with an alternative. Or we’ll buy ebooks of “disposable” titles, quit printing so much dross, and only kill trees for really special books. I dunno yet.

I was going through my photos from the Deireadh Seachtaine Gaeltachta (Gaeltacht Weekend) and I realized that all my favorites contain trees. So here you go, some scenes from the Ballynahinch Estate in Connemara:

I have been slacking on the writing – I will try to be better, but I can’t make any promises. Final exams and essays are looming. But I’ll try.