Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes. By that I mean there are more types than you can count on your hands and feet (or fingers and toes as the case may be). Crosswords and Sudoku are only the tip of the iceberg. There are KenKen, brain teasers, riddles, anagrams, crytograms, logic puzzles, and much more. So how does one keep it all straight? I have an assortment of individual files on my desktop to which I add new information, tips, and suggestions. I like to collect rare examples or particularly challenging ones. Everything I store is done electronically and I rely on backup to keep vital stuff safe and secure. But there are times when you want to do something tangible such as making and binding your own puzzle book.
I got this idea when I was in a quandary about gifts for close friends and family. Over the years, I have exhausted my creativity and resources coming up with new ideas that mean something to the recipient. I want it to come from my heart and my brain. It represents me as I am seen by another person. My new phase is to give handmade books that I research, print, collate, and bind myself. Thus, I can customize what goes inside, adding personal notations and imagery as I like.
I go all out on a catchy cover. Each gift uses a different theme. The puzzle book contents will reflect this theme, or several if space permits. I try to provide a range between easy and hard. Not everyone is already an aficionado and a whiz at solving puzzles, even the perennial newspaper favorites. I don’t usually use more than 20-25 pages. After all, it’s not meant to be an exhaustive tome! I can use an electric stapler for this amount without having to buy a special binding device (I did alot of research on Staple Slinger – Check it out!). The staples produce colorful metal accents that match and enhance the multi-hued cover. It is made of card stock so it is sturdy and long lasting. It can get pretty artsy, but I also like reproducing a sample on the first page as well.
I want to tempt people to take a look at something new and enjoyable that I find completely entrancing. People who know me are not going to be surprised. But I do think it is a novel idea that you might want to give a try. You can throw in a nice pen or graphite pencil wrapped to match your theme. I use actual crosswords, for example, to make a little add on package.
This wouldn’t be a good blog if it didn’t include some tips. So here goes. It is important to align your pages properly before finalizing the book so that it is neat as a pin. The staples should be strategically placed along the left margin, perfectly lined up and looking very professional. An electric stapler works wonders, but if you have the inclination, you can use a manual version. The former is a good investment if you like creating books on any subject for personal dispersion.