Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vast Public Indifference: The Book

Yesterday, Pete presented me with an early birthday gift: the first six months of Vast Public Indifference in book form.

Blogger has partnered with Blog2Print, a company that publishes hard copies of blog posts. The first six months of my blog translates to about 200 pages of text and pictures.

I'm enjoying this book on several levels. First, it's been a lot of fun browsing through posts that I'd forgotten about long ago. It's also interesting to see how the blog developed in its early months — I spent much more time writing about the books I was reading. I feel like I should get back to that a bit.

On top of that, I think this book is a fascinating object — a book made from online content about books. Of course, the book can never be what the blog is. The most glaring difference is the lack of links. It's really a stark illustration of how writing is genre- and context-specific.

If there is a blogger in your life, particularly if he/she is also a lover of books or a skeptic about the permanence of online content, a Blog2Print book would make an excellent gift.

There is one major caveat: the formatting is not great. For posts made in the old Blogger editor, Blog2Print cannot reproduce italics, bold, or block quotes. The printed version is not a reproduction of the blog, but an interpretation of it. I've heard that books made from posts that were created in the new editor are somewhat better.

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