During each of the past weeks of summer, I've taken one or two days on the Karfi as operator (captain, cashier and safety officer!) from the State Dock in Jackson Harbor to Rock Island.  It's a fun challenge to direct this small-but-quick vessel alongside the pier.  The superb beauty of the route and the mix of overnight campers - some of whom told us this was their 34th and 38th straight years camping there - along with many day visitors, makes those days special.   I hadn't dreamed I would have that job when I began the book on Rock Island. 

Besides enjoyment of my "day job," there is an opportunity to tell people about this website and the soon-to-be published book, Thordarson and Rock Island.  

Self-promotion takes a bit of steel, and so most often my deckhands pass promotional bookmarks out for me while I steer into the harbor.  It's apparent the Rock Island topic greatly interests people.  They appear open and receptive to such a book, whether they're just curious to learn more about Thordarson, his boathouse, or local history in general.  A few of our passengers already have read something I've written and published, and in moments of euphoria I'd like to think that's another reason they'll be interested in this book.

A bookmark is a relatively inexpensive gift to give.  With promotional material printed on both sides, I believe most Karfi passengers will use it to good advantage as a book page marker, even if they never follow-up with a visit to this website.  Books, the objects made of paper that we hold in our hands as we turn pages one-by-one, have yet to go the way of the 8-track tape deck.  Recent articles indicate that e-books sales have leveled off, and that physical books continue selling steadily, although sales of hardcopies are down considerably from years ago.

It would seem altogether wrong, in writing about a man who cherished books as a collector and had a library second to very few in the world, that an e-book would suitably reflect the nature of such a topic.  And since this book will be about an island that has been a natural area and State Park, I've asked the printer to please use sustainable paper in its printing, which will then be certified.  All inks now, as I understand it, are vegetable-based, and so this printing will be as "environmentally friendly" as we can make it.  

When considering the publication of Thordarson and Rock Island, there were compelling reasons not to go the route of an e-book.  For one thing, there are so many images, maps and illustrations that even creating printer-ready digital files has been a challenge.  Most e-book templates, as I understand them, do now allow for many images.  There will be over 100 in this book.  

On the inside of both front and back covers I've included a chart of Lake Michigan and an old contour map of Rock Island that Thordarson had inside his photo album cover.  These each help the reader to more closely examine Rock Island and Thordarson's world, even if readers are local residents and they already know plenty about this place.  Including maps is also a personal indulgence, following on my own interest to examine maps. But including a map was advocated by James Michener in his book about writing:  always include a map to help orient the reader.

Edits continue right through this day.  I've often dropped off packets of latest changes at Amy Jorgenson's back doorstep while on my way to Jackson Harbor.  The process is close, but we're not quite "there" in terms of getting the files off to Worzalla, the printer, in Stevens Point.   -    Richard Purinton