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Holiday Gift Book Guide for Papermakers

Each year through the entire month of December, we are inundated with “Holiday Gift Guides” touting perfect presents for almost everyone on your shopping list. Yet there is one special group of people I rarely see addressed specifically: papermakers, and those who support them. A one-year membership in the Jelly of the Month club might be fine for all the Clark Griswolds in your life, but what about the millwrights, service reps, superintendents, team leaders, project managers—everyone from the mill floor to the C-suite offices who dedicate their careers to producing the pulp, paper, and packaging that improve our lives?

Here at Ahead of the Curve, we think a printed book is the perfect solution. Yes, graphic paper markets are still in trouble. But gifting books in print is not about saving the sector—it’s about acknowledging that, though its complete demise has been long predicted, paper and print is still a media with a history and an emotional connection that showcases why paper is important. As noted in the recent survey from Two Sides North America, “Print and Paper in a Digital World,” consumers view information printed on paper as more trusted, more secure, and better for us than constantly gazing at a screen. In addition, “Printed books were preferred across all age groups, followed by tablets at 15 percent. 73 percent of those surveyed believe reading a printed book is more enjoyable than reading a book on an electronic device, including 72 percent of the 18-24 year olds,” says the report (which is available here.)

Anyone on your gift list would enjoy a book! But here are a few that may particularly appeal to the papermakers in your life:

Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification, Revised and Updated
(Golden Field Guide f/St. Martin's Press).
Though wood pulp wasn’t really used to make paper until the mid-1800s, today’s paper industry is learning more about trees’ amazing potential all the time. Available on Amazon here.

The Handbook for Pulp and Paper Technologists (aka “the Smook Book”.)
Must-have reading for cozy firelit evenings around the Christmas tree! The fully-updated 4th edition is available from TAPPI Press here.

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes.
From the Booklist review: “Every facet of this celebration of paper is engrossing and thought-provoking…paper, Basbanes avers, is nothing less than an embodiment and conveyance of humanity.” We agree. Available from Barnes and Noble here.

Dard Hunter: The Graphic Works, by Lawrence Kreisman.
Showcasing the graphic works of legendary papermaker, artist, and author Dard Hunter, this beautiful smyth-sewn casebound volume includes 120 color reproductions. Available from Dard Hunter Studios here.

Arnold Grummer's Complete Guide To Easy Paper Making, by Arnold Grummer.
When the world of “tons-per-day” gets a bit stressful, what papermaker wouldn’t want some tips for making things the easy way? A perfect winter vacation activity for papermaking families to share. Available from the Arnold Grummer website here.

The Cardboard Box Book: Make Robots, Princess Castles, Cities, and More!
Published by Priddy Books. Our industry has a great recycling story, particularly when it comes to containerboard. But recycling boxes into toys is even more fun for the kids—and again, reminds us of the emotional connection that only comes from paper products. A great way to help children appreciate the hard work that their moms, dads, and other family members do to make the paper and board products that we use every day. Available from Amazon here.

Feel free to share this column with anyone who needs a hint about last-minute book ideas for the papermakers in their lives. We here at Ahead of the Curve will be taking next week off—to read books, of course! (We may also be recycling some holiday delivery boxes and wrapping papers into a super-cool rocket ship.) Thank you for reading Ahead of the Curve.

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