Now that I’m on a roll, following my denunciation of water bottles in the pulpit, let me move to one of my other pet peeves: seeing ministers or other speakers move from behind a pulpit or lecturn and read from floppy bits of paper.
You know, peevishly reading from the order of service, held like a melting ice cream cone. Or worse, small notes, frail as butterflies, announcing church events. (Large index cards wouldn’t be so bad.) The gesture reads tentative or sloppy.
A good binder would help. Something you could slip sermon manuscripts into. Something that looks permanent.
Now, a three-ring binder wouldn’t look awful and would be an improvement from bare paper, but (1) some documents needn’t be punched and (2) sometimes flipping pages in a three-ring binder with one free hand takes an awkward, arching gesture.
The last time Hubby and I were in London, I bought a guide to lay preaching bound in a springback or thesis binder. Imagine a large, cloth-covered hardback book. Gut it, and fix the spine with a triangular strip of metal like an elongated binder clip. The covers hold the papers together. If you left a proper margin, you might not notice at first that what you were holding wasn’t a book.
I have found exactly one detailed discussion on this product: a recent blog entry by Aaron at anything but poetry (where you can also follow all the news about that hunky Daniel Craig.) This confirmed what I feared: these are hard to find, unless you order six, and they aren’t cheap. If you do find one, expect to pay at least $20. (UK readers will pay about the same for one in the A4 size, but online stationers seems to sell singles.)
- Perhaps a minister’s group or church cluster could order a half-dozen? Perhaps not.
- Some colleges sell them for their eponymous purpose: binding a thesis. Have you seen these in your campus bookstore? Do note.