It takes care to turn a good paper book into a good digital book. But it also takes care to turn a lousy digital book into a good paper book! The New Yorker has a story about how Melville House is doing just that, publishing the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture. But remember fine readers, GPO will be distributing it digitally and in print(!) to FDLP libraries around the country too!
The text of the report, as released two days earlier by the Intelligence Committee, is a five-hundred-and-twenty-eight-page PDF with the slanted margins and blurred resolution of a Xerox made by a myopic high-school Latin teacher. It’s pocked with black redaction lines and crammed with footnotes of David Foster Wallace-ian scope. The report is in the public domain and freely available online, but, for reasons of form as well as of content, it’s hell to read.
… A tangible, legible edition of the torture report seemed exactly the kind of thing that the press exists to publish…
…A dozen full-time employees, plus a smattering of freelance proofreaders, copy-editors, interns, and volunteers sat at computers, retyping the government PDF’s tangle of text into Microsoft Word files.
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