Thursday, January 29, 2015

A book repair manual

The synagogue I belong to has a problem: all its prayerbooks (siddurim; siddur - singular) were poorly bound by the publisher, and are in desperate need of repair. I took a look at them, and saw that they were quite fixable. I was given permission to run a class on book repair, to teach congregants how to repair them. Since I want to pass on the skill, I felt everyone would need a DIY booklet with the specific steps and methods for repairing these books.

Naturally, I underestimated how long it would take to make the booklet. 12 or 14 hours later I had 2 booklets in pdf format. I decided on 2 so I could limit their size to something manageable to make, download, and view

I thought my blog readers (or anyone searching Google Drive, for that matter) might also be interested in learning a little about the structure of a book, and some repair skills. While the directions are targeted for a specific set of books -- our congregation's siddurim -- with a specific set of problems, the methods may be applicable to other non-valuable hard-bound books. Kid's, adults, seniors: DON'T try repairing any book that you think is valuable or important (to you or anyone else).

By the way, you will notice I never mention the use of tape of any sort in these booklets. Why? Because taping up a book to fix it is like drinking arsenic to make a headache go away.

So here are the links to view the pdfs in Google Drive:



Sunday, January 18, 2015

My 5 ebooks

For those of you who may be interested in finding out about the ebooks I've published, and perhaps even purchasing one or more of them (they cost less than $5 each), below you can find brief descriptions of each of them. Enjoy!

Atternen Jewz Talen:
This book contains the opening pages of the diaries of the Eternal Jew (aka the Wandering Jew). In the opening scene he describes Jerusalem in his youth, as it was in 30 CE. He then recounts his meeting with a revolutionary named Jesus. Realizing he has left out some critical information, he turns back to the origins of humanity, telling what he knows about those early days.
This is not the Eternal Jew you might have heard about from unreliable or hate-mongering sources. He is a wise and engaging fellow, proudly Jewish, with a biting wit, and a wry but mystical view of worldly events and his place in them.
The story is told in two versions. The original text is an altered English where words and ideas morph, one into another, using a strictly phonetic spelling. To help the reader, however, a translation into standard English follows each stanza. As a further help, each stanza is followed by an embedded reading, so one can listen to the story, and read along at the same time.
The story is further enriched by images produced by the author, and selected scans taken from the author’s notebooks. The final chapter of the book is a collection of useful source material and links for further study and exploration.

A Pilgrimmage tu Jerusalem:
A young pilgrim hears that the place to which he is making pilgrimage is not what he expects. Truth or illusion? Redemption or damnation?  What do we really know about our journey and its end? This short remarkable tale, rich with illustrations by the author, and supplemented with images of the original hand-written text, will challenge the mind, delight the eyes, and bring genuine pleasure to the reader.

The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming, Bouk 1:
Elmallah, a divine messenger, is sent to Ertha to awaken her. Although she dwells as a shadow in a shadowy wilderness, Elmallah is instructed to liberate her latent beauty, power, and desire. But can Elmallah lift her from her wild state, or will she overwhelm his spirit and drag him into the darkness of her world?
The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming is the epic story of the man of God whose heart is captured by the one he is sent to redeem. The book contains many illustrations produced by the author, and also includes audio recordings of the author reading the text.

The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming, Bouk 2:
In this, the second book, Elmallah enters into Ertha’s prehistoric wilderness. He is unprepared for its danger and cruelty. He is equally unprepared for the passion and love he feels for Ertha that heightens and clouds his thinking. Ertha is as wild as the world she lives in. Can Elmallah survive in such a place?
The book’s many illustrations, produced by the author, are based on Mesopotamian bas reliefs. The book also includes 13 audio recordings of the author reading the text.

Ottoman Beachcomber:
The world was a very different place in 1983, at least in Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey. In this book you will go on travels in a simpler time to places innocent and charming. Join me as I outrun demons that are chasing me, dance in morning dew with unknown women, walk across borders in the dead of night, find my estranged wife in a 15th century Ottoman marketplace, and explore delightful villages far off the beaten trail.
This ebook is also enriched with photos from the author's wife's archive, and liberally sprinkled with links to related websites and photo archives.