Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Intern Field Trip

Last week all of the interns here at Godine went on a summer field trip—nothing says staff bonding like a (few) long car-ride(s) and delicious small-town deli sandwiches. During this two-day trip we had the pleasure of visiting Puritan Press, where we were led around by a father-daughter printing duo; the New Hampshire Bindery, where we learned what a Parmachene Belle was (hint: it has nothing to do with binding); and Monadnock Paper Mill, a huge factory that puts a priority on high quality products that are still ecologically friendly. The most important stop was at our own warehouse, where at long last we met Michele and Christine, with whom we normally only get to speak on the phone. They're even more charismatic and helpful in person.

At each place we took an extensive tour. At Puritan, we learned about the challenges with printing ink on paper. It requires the correct balance of inks, all layered as minuscule dots in order to create the correct color. One of the coolest parts was seeing the replication of artwork for print in books. The way they match the colors from the original so exactly is incredibly impressive.

While visiting the New Hampshire Bindery, we learned that some of their machines have been in use for over a century, and they still work just as well now as they did when they were new. One machine in particular could hold dozens of books in the binding process at a time. A fly-fishing expert led us through the binding process, start to finish, and let it suffice to say that you should appreciate your well-bound books (and a hand-tied fly), because the process is deceivingly complex!

At Monadnock, we followed the process of paper-making, from stirring the pulp to checking the finished papers with various tests. Enormous machines strung the pulp out into perhaps miles-long reams, perfecting the tone, caliber, and consistency along the way and adjusting the process as necessary. It did not smell as terribly as we expected, though it was a bit loud!

We stayed the night at David Godine's gorgeous New Hampshire house after enjoying a cookout and reading until the last light of day faded. 

One of our favorite little treasure from the trip was a series of photographs of Mark Twain at the New Hampshire house.

This series of 7 photographs registers with scientific precision, stage by stage, the progress of a moral purpose through the mind of the human race’s oldest friend.
Shall I learn to be good? …….. I will sit here and think it over. Truly Yours, Mark Twain.
There do seem to be so many differ….
And yet if I should really try….
…and just put my whole heart in in…
…But then I could break the Sab….
…and there’s so many other privileges, that… perhaps….
Oh, never mind, I reckon I’m good enough just as I am.
At the Godine warehouse we helped Michele and Christine with restocking books and sorting through hurt books and jackets. 

Overall, the trip was a wonderful experience. We experienced first hand how books are brought into being, beginning to end.  If you are interested in becoming a Godine intern, visit here for more info...and psst, you get to grab some books from the warehouse!

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Reminded me of my own first time visiting the warehouse and the Dublin house (though it was winter and not anywhere near as pleasant for sitting outside!).