Bound Photobook You Can Add Pages to Over Time?
November 28, 2018 8:43 PM   Subscribe

I would like a bound (like not spiral bound or a binder or such) photobook that I can add pages to later. I would like a photobook, not a photo album. Does this exist? What's it called? How do I order it?

I have a Christmas tree and a collection of ornaments that I'm very proud of. Some are heirlooms from my childhood (I'm old enough that things from my childhood are heirlooms), many were bought on trips (I buy an ornament any time I go anywhere), many were gifts (one was a secret quonsar gift, in fact!). As time passes I feel like I'm going to forget the origins of the less-special ones, or forget what year that trip was, or who gave me this thing etc. And of course I want my son to be able to learn about its history when he gets older. Finally, some of them are breakable and there is the terrifying possibility that one might break and be lost forever!

So I want to photograph each ornament, write a sentence or two about its origins and make a photebook (bonus question: best software/system for making this, if the photobook option recommended isn't married to some native system that I have to use. I have Lightroom (Desktop, not subscription), InDesign, and Google Photos).

But of course I'll get new ornaments over the years. I bought a few the other day and have another 5 or 6 coming in the mail (hahahha..maybe) by the end of the season. So I'd like to be able to add pages. I know I could make a second volume, of course, but I'd only be adding a few pages a year, so that doesn't seem ideal. I don't want to wait another 20 years before updating.

I don't know what I'm picturing exactly, but some kind of nice/elegant binding that I can open up and add to? Yes, it sounds impossible when I say it, but who knows what wonders exist in this world. Help me out, mefites!
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Look up 'screw post binding'. It involves two hard covers with removable screws that can be undone when you want to insert new pages. Often used for menus, design drawings etc.
posted by Thella at 9:03 PM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks! That's sort of what I was picturing but I didn't know what it was called.

But how would I do the photobook getting part.. I mean I would need the new pages to be consistent/fit have the holes lined up perfectly (or else it will look more binder than book) etc. Does one of the big photobook printing services offer this or how would I do it?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:09 PM on November 28, 2018

From the site linked above:
If you have any questions whatsoever, please, PLEASE, …really – just send us an email and we’ll get right back to you.

(We hate to say no!)
Also, DIY.
posted by Thella at 9:17 PM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

You could also DIY Japanese stab binding - very easy, similar idea to the post binding. Since you're only updating once a year there's no reason you couldn't re-stitch.
posted by jrobin276 at 10:04 PM on November 28, 2018

Perhaps look into the realm of scrapbooking supplies. It's a whole enormous craft industry centred around enabling people to create attractive and tangible recordings of memories. Screw post binding is only the beginning.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:47 AM on November 29, 2018

Best answer: Post-bound scrapbooks (in the US) come in standard sizes (8.5x11" and 12x12") and you can buy refill pages that are pre-punched and post extenders at big box craft stores, in the scrapbooking section. I can't speak for other countries, but I imagine you may be able to find something similar in craft-type stores. If you want to print the photos directly on the pages rather than paste them in, I would go for the 8.5x11 size book and just hole punch the new page, matching it up with an old page.
posted by Liesl at 6:04 AM on November 29, 2018

Best answer: I would get a 3 hole punch that is adjustable (example), so once you have a cover and posts that you like, you can set up the punch to match the posts. I would be concerned about durability of the paper. Paper that is too thin might end up tearing but thicker paper can be too stiff to lie nicely in this kind of binding. So, you want strong paper that is still flexible.
posted by soelo at 9:00 AM on November 29, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, this is super helpful.

If i did a post-bound book, would I have to make the pages single-sided or could I do double-sided? I mean obviously I can do whatever I want, but I can't seem to find a pic of one of these made with regular paper and lying open, so I'm not sure how visible/pretty the "back" page looks. Can I create some two page spreads or should I be leaving the back pages blank (and yes obviously given that it's two separate sheets of paper nothing can lie across the gutter).

The custom punch is a great idea.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:07 AM on November 29, 2018

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