Thursday, 13 January 2011

My paper world

I am often stroking pieces of paper. I do not have a paper fetish or psychological paper dependency, but I have worked in the publishing industry for more years than I care to count, and you certainly learn a thing or two regarding paper.
Not to mention finding yourself caressing paper and guessing the gsm. I have become quite an expert at this. (Sad but true.)Particularly when an existing paper contract is due to expire, which has been the case in my current position.
At present I deal with the production side of six magazines. That’s six different pagination sizes, five different paper weights, three different publication sizes, and six different schedules. That’s a lot of paper. (I would like to point out we are environmentally friendly too, we have standards and regulations and we frequently recycle.)
And who would have thought you could have so many conversations about paper? Paper Mills, paper prices, paper delivery times, paper service level agreements and paper contracts.
My life recently has been overtaken by paper!
I am organising and attending meetings with paper suppliers. I am comparing costs and colour and weight of paper. I am discussing reels and tonnage and storage. I am compiling spreadsheets with paper deadlines and usage. I am opening packages containing different paper samples.
Now, call me old fashioned but I would rather read and flick through a magazine than turn on a computer and gaze at something on the screen. I still love walking into a newsagents and choosing which magazine to purchase. I like to sit on the train and loose myself in light hearted celebrity gossip and the latest fashion. I like to curl up on the brown leather sofa, with a mug of hot chocolate, and read creative ideas for the home. I like to sit at the oak dining table, eating cheese and biscuits, with the knowledge of a photography inspired magazine.
I want to step away from the computer and step into brightly coloured pages with text and images!
Of course I am aware it's a changing world. Something my company is also keen to address. Our newly designed, flag ship magazine title, is now available on line. With the touch of a button you can zoom into an article or advertisement, or with the touch of another button you can skip an article, and turn the page to the next informative read. That's progress for you!
But personally speaking, I would rather choose hard copy than digital. I want to turn pages with my hands. I want to pop a magazine in my bag or on my brown leather stool to continue reading later.
I guess you could say, I want to continue stroking paper and guessing gsms.
I arranged a paper tender meeting the other day, with a possible potential new paper supplier, and our interim production manager. We had tea and biscuits and important matters to discuss.
Half way through the meeting, after note taking and biscuit crunching, I looked around and suppressed a giggle (I was supposed to be acting professional after all). I tried not to giggle as I realised I was not alone with my paper appreciation and concerns. For there were three grown adults sitting around a table, and each and everyone of us were stroking pieces of paper, with intense and focused looks.
And long may it continue, in my little paper world.

12 comments:

Nick Phillips said...

I have to agree, nothing beats the feel of having a real magazine to hold and read than something on the PC :D

Amel said...

Lovely post, Nikki! :-D I also prefer real books than e-books. I LOVE collecting books - reading them is a different thing 'coz I'm a rather random reader. I start reading a book and may stop at one point only to be lured by another one...ha ha ha ha ha...

JY said...

I love real books too. There was an article somewhere that said that the babies born in 2011 will probably not know what a BOOK is... Now that is sad.

Eryl said...

I am a bit of a paper obsessive, I love smooth, thick, creamy sheets and coloured card, but I'm pretty excited about the new tablet readers. The idea of being able to have a couch in my work room because all my books are on one small device rather than on acres of shelving sounds wonderful.

Mary Smith said...

And just when we thought we were entering a "paper free" era! Sounds like you are doing a lot of neat things career-wise!!

pilgrimchick said...

I have to agree regarding the difference between reading a magazine/book rather than a screen. I think enough people feel that way to ensure books will be continuously published in "physical book" form, no matter what new eReader they come up with next.

The World According To Me said...

Hi Nick, my sentiments exactly!

The World According To Me said...

Thanks Amel. I know what you mean though, books can have such attractive covers and look so homely and welcoming displayed on book shelves. But it's easy to become distracted with another attractively covered book!

The World According To Me said...

That is a sad fact JY!
Luckily I have kept loads of books for (hopefully) my future babies! I will make sure they know what a book is!

The World According To Me said...

In the interest of space, Eryl, it does make sense, I agree.
I've disgarded some of my books in the move due to lack of shelving but I've kept my favourites to proudly display - inside my new wicker trunk!

The World According To Me said...

Hi Mary Smith

Don't believe the hype!
Yes all going well career wise thanks. Hope all is well with you.

The World According To Me said...

Hi Pilgrim Chick

Yes, long live the physical book!