Category Archives: Book Pics

On Aesthetic Sensibilities and Changes to my Book

So a little while ago I noted that I decided to collate a bunch of my reviews on books about Christology and produce a slim volume that I self published with Lulu. I got the original version in and it was offensive for a number of reasons.

Reason #1 – A plethora of typographical errors. From the first page of the first review to the back cover there were a number of typos that I had managed to overlook. The problem with editing one’s own work is that they know how it should read/look so they read in such a way as to mentally apply corrections that haven’t actually been applied. The typos ranged from punctuation to grammar to spelling. It was awful.

Reason #2 – The format. I had initially began each chapter with the full bibliographic details of each book under review. On my blog this wasn’t really a problem as this was my preferred method in the latter part of my review writing. In a book format it just looked awkward. In addition to this I had formatting issues that were caused by downloading Lulu’s template for a 6×9 book. That brings us to…

Reason #3 – The fonts and spacing. I had created the original file on Lulu’s template in MS Word. My preferred font is Minion Pro for English and the SBL fonts for Hebrew and Greek. I also like my spacing at exactly 1.15 and I prefer for there to be spaces between footnotes. Well, when I uploaded my completed Word document to Lulu’s servers they changed everything to Times New Roman and single spacing! The only fix was to upload a PDF file. The issue there was that when I saved it as a PDF it saved as an 8.5×11 document. Lulu then shrank it down and it created margins that were unacceptable and a font size that was smaller then I wanted.

So in order to fix everything I ended up importing the document into Pages, which is Apple’s proprietary word processing program. I began by getting rid of full bibliographic information at the top of every page. Instead I inserted chapter numbers, the title of the book under review, and the author of said book. This made it look much more like a real book and a lot less sloppy. Here’s the difference:

I then combed through the manuscript innumerable times in order to fix the typos. I also caught some mistakes in formatting that I had initially missed. All of my original font choices were restored and I tried my best tp standardize certain things such as section headings and the way I cite page numbers, footnotes, scripture, etc.

Finally, I added some front matter (e.g., copyright page, dedication page) and in the final version a bibliography of the books reviewed. This is where all the information removed from the beginning of each review now appears. So while I’m calling this final version the “First Corrected Edition,” it’s technically the second.

But how did I manage to get everything the way I wanted it when I uploaded to Lulu’s servers?, you ask. Well, Pages exported the PDF document exactly according to the template that the document was created in. So no more 8.5×11. This was 6×9. And the PDF allowed for all of my fonts and spacing. In the end I ended up with something that looks a lot more professional and doesn’t offend my aesthetic sensibilities.

Pick up a copy if you’d like to check it out. 



Home Library/Office Tour

I wanted to do this for a while. I had some time today. One day I’ll get a good camera and give this thing some real production value.


Upcoming Office Tour

I watch a lot of room tours and office tours on YouTube and as of late have even gotten into personal library tours as well. Many of them have been inspiring. I’ve gained ideas and insights on how to improve my own setup and in some cases I’ve been able to implement those ideas. My home office has been a work in progress since I got married nearly 5 months ago. I’d say that I’m roughly 93% done with it. I just need a couple of decorations, some touchup paint work, and a little tidying up and it’ll be complete.

The tentative plan is to film an office tour when I have it to where I want it. Or at least when it’s 98% done. In all likelihood I’ll film it before the paintwork. It’s not going to be anything fancy. Just me walking through with my phone for a few minutes and explaining what I’ve done and why I’ve done it. At least that’s the plan. We’ll see what actually happens. Until then I thought I’d share some before and after pics.





In the Mail


Hendrickson sent along a copy of The Greek New Testament, Fifth Revised Edition (with Dictionary), otherwise known as the UBS5 for review. Holding this volume in hand brings back fond memories of getting the UBS4 a number of years ago at the recommendation of Dan Wallace.

I notice a couple of immediate differences, namely the UBS5 has done away with the italicized font employed in the UBS4. I never much minded it but I know it drove plenty of people crazy. The other difference that stands out is the page feel. The UBS5 pages feel much glossier and smoother than the UBS4 pages. Only time will tell if this proves to be a good thing.

Oh, and the UBS5 naturally contains the revised edition of Barclay Newman’s wonderful A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament. Of course, you could get newer editions of the UBS4 with this updated lexicon, or purchase it as a standalone volume, but I’m quite happy to have the first edition with my UBS4 and the revised edition with my UBS5. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say!


Pot… Kettle…

So I’ve been watching all these YouTube videos where people give tours of their offices and I came across one where the guy in question had a ton of headphones. Here’s a screenshot of what was above his desk (which doesn’t include the ones he had on his dresser & bookshelf):


I saw that and thought to myself, “Nobody needs that many pairs of headphones; that’s just ridiculous.” Then I looked to my left and saw this:



Hello Kettle, I’m Pot. You’re black.


In the Mail

My Ignatius Press ordered arrived today. To be honest, I saw the box and thought the publisher had sent a bunch of books for review because, well, I forgot I had placed this order! But here’s what I got:

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Now I have to move the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI section of my library because these books are way too tall to fit on the top of my bookcase where my other Ratzinger volumes are housed.


In the Mail

Zondervan sent along a variety of Bibles for review. I’m going to put these in the hands of some trusted family members and let them tell me what they think and then I’ll relay their thoughts to you all. Here’s what came in:

Rock Solid Faith Study Bible for Teens, NIV

Animal-Print Collection Bible

Sports Collection Bible

Adventure Bible Book of Devotions

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