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"Rulebook Preservation" Topic

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ninthdoc25 Sep 2019 2:07 p.m. PST

I'm curious what you all are using to preserve your rulebooks and yet make them usable. I've considered going all digital and printing them out in clear notebook sleeves. I hate seeing any book get damaged and hobby books with soft covers are some of the most vulnerable. Thank you!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2019 3:12 p.m. PST

The majority of my RPG books are available on PDF. In fact, I purchase many in PDF format, as the hard copies are too expensive in the collector's market… For those I want/need in hard copy format, I print, punch, and put into a 3-ring binder.

For others, if I can get them in POD, I go for that, with the bundled PDF version (searchable on the computer, but the hard copy is easier, and more comfortable, to read…).

Back in the 1990's, TSR offered Dragon Magazine issues #1-#250, in a CD bundle, as PDF files. I had quite a collection of hard copies of them, issues #48-#100. After I got the CD's, I got rid of the hard copies: too bulky, getting damaged, fading, etc. They were also quite bulky, requiring a lot of storage space, as well as being difficult to search for desired information. The CD's included search software, but it was clunky, and based on Windows NT/95! It worked poorly when it was new, but I doubt it will work at all, now…

For my games, I laminate the Reference Sheet pages only. This is easy since I purchased a 3mm laminator. The downside is that each packet, used for each individual page, runs around $1 USD -- 8 reference sheets will cost me $8 USD to laminate! For that reason, I only laminate the Reference Sheets I know will see heavy use.

Back in the 1990's, I invested in several hundred sheet protectors, slipping my printed pages into them. This was not only expensive, but it was also extremely bulky! It is a possible solution to your problem, but I would suggest buying only one box of them, to try. Live with them for a while, to see what you think. Move forward from there, as your budget allows.

The most economical solution is to acquire the books in PDF format. Print replacement pages as needed. If they're not available in PDF format, then consider scanning them, yourself, into PDF format. Put the originals on the shelf, for archival storage. Cheers!

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2019 5:51 p.m. PST

I copy the rule book and place those sheets into sheet protectors. Filing away the original rule book. As mentioned by Sgt Slag, I too laminate the QRS & any component that will see heavy wear (such as Cruel Seas Ship Data Cards). I found a laminator at Aldi for a good price last January and get my laminating pouches from Office Depot online when they are on sale. Like anything else you have to shop around a bit to get the best price.

Col Durnford26 Sep 2019 6:32 a.m. PST

I use the sheet protectors and 3 ring binders. As an extra bonus the rules lay flat.

Any quick reference sheets are also put both in the binder and copies in plastic sheet protectors.

ninthdoc26 Sep 2019 9:45 a.m. PST

Fitzovich, what method are you using to copy the rule book?

For example, I have a soft cover of a new rule book that is tight. Is there a way that you are copying it without damaging the spine?

I've been looking at document scanners, but they are very costly.

Albino Squirrel17 Oct 2019 7:01 p.m. PST

This may be a bit overboard, but for something you can't replace and expect to use often, you could laminate and spiral bind: link

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