Melcher Media, Inc. has been issued the patent (no. 6,773,034) for the technology behind the method of producing waterproof books. Called DuraBooks™, the format utilizes revolutionary technology and is completely waterproof, highly durable, and upcyclable.
Book publishing is the oldest and most mature of all media, yet innovation has been slow since Gutenberg invented letterpress printing in 1450. DuraBooks™ are a true innovation in the history of publishing. DuraBooks™ can go where ordinary ones cannot. And as a result, there are new and completely untapped markets for waterproof books: field guides, travel books, children’s books, cookbooks, maps, manuals, books for camping, boating, fishing, and of course, books to read in the tub, on the beach, at the pool, at the spa.
DuraBooks™ are “green” and good for the environment. Made in such a way to be upcyclable, the synthetic “paper” can be melted down and reused in perpetuity, thus sparing trees and reducing toxins in the earth’s ecosystem. DuraBooks™ are also non-toxic and child safety tested.
William McDonough, recognized by Time magazine in 1999 as a “Hero for the Planet,” states “Unlike the paper with which we are familiar, [the DuraBook™] does not use any wood pulp or cotton fiber but is made from plastic resins and inorganic fillers. This material . . . is a prototype for the book as a ‘technical nutrient,’ that is, as a product that can be broken down and circulated indefinitely in industrial cycles—made and remade as ‘paper’ or other products.”
DuraBooks™ are best sellers. Melcher Media already has more than half a million DuraBooks™ in the marketplace.
Current titles include CRADLE TO CRADLE: Remaking the Way We Make Things (produced by Melcher Media for Farrar Straus & Giroux), a visionary book by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart. The authors explain that rather than working from the “reduce, reuse, recycle,” model—which perpetuates the “cradle to grave” manufacturing model, dating to the Industrial Revolution—products can be designed from the onset so that, after their useful lives, they will provide nourishment for something new. The book is now in its seventh printing since being released in 2002, with more than 75,000 copies in print.
AQUA EROTICA: 18 Stories for a Steamy Bath and WET: More Aqua Erotica (both published by Melcher Media and Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House) now have 120,000 and 60,000 copies in print respectively, and continue to be reprinted. Forthcoming in 2004 is THE SOOTHING SOAK: A Bathtub Reader, a collection of water-themed stories, essays, and poetry on spiritual themes, scheduled for release in October.
SOAP DISH EDITIONS—a series of small-scale books—now have close to 350,000 copies in print. Titles are Hot & Steamy: Erotic Baths for Two; Clean & Serene: Meditations for the Bath; Soothing Soaks: Relaxation for the Bath; Rub-a-Dub-Dub: Baby in the Tub; Makin’ Waves: Fun with Kids in the Tub; and Splish Splash: Recipes for the Bath.
MORE About DuraBooks™
DuraBooks™ look and feel like ordinary books, but are constructed of tear- and stain-resistant synthetic paper with a unique binding. This enables them to withstand a wide variety of real-life elements, such as water, dirt, grease, and humidity. While the paper feels and looks like high-quality coated art stock, DuraBooks™ lend themselves to cleaning and handling that far exceeds the abilities of a standard paperback. Their binding process is much sturdier than any paper or hardcover bookbinding, and has been tested to hold up to the same extreme conditions as the DuraBooks™ paper. The distinctive attributes of DuraBooks™ make this format an exceptional candidate for diverse use in many markets.
About the Durabooks™ Technology
The paper used to create DuraBooks™ is made with synthetics constructed of plastic resins and inorganic fillers. It does not use any wood pulp or cotton fiber. The plastic is extruded and stretched before its surface is treated to enhance printing performance. The innovative process creates a paper that incorporates the best characteristics of wood pulp paper and plastic film: It has remarkable printability and smoothness combined with high strength. Four-color art reproduces beautifully at a 175-line screen/360 dpi on the paper, with results that meet or exceed the outcome on standard coated stock. The print quality is excellent, with vibrant colors and a lush, satiny finish.
DuraBooks™ paper comes in many weights and gauges, and can adhere to most manufacturing techniques, including high-quality offset printing, foil stamping, embossing, die-cutting, perforating, and laminating.
About the Durabooks™ Binding
While the DuraBooks™ waterproof binding looks traditional, it is actually much sturdier than any perfect-bound or regular thread-sewn book, and has been devised and tested to hold up to the same extreme conditions as the paper. The book block is sewn with a special thread, then notched and adhered to the cover with a unique glue. The glue is a custom-formulated compound invented for this purpose. It, too, is waterproof. While the binding looks just like a normal notch-bound book, the resulting product has superior performance and durability.