NOTE: Before I launch into this post, let me address the fact that I realize that POD services can be used and abused by the unscrupulous. This post wasn't written to open up yet another debate of author/publisher rights and literacy piracy and what-not. This post is to give you some creative ideas on ways to use this one-off personal print/bind service. Also, each project shown here was created using either purchased-for PDFs printed for personal use only; PDFs made freely available by the authors and, again, printed for personal use only; and hardcopy materials I personally possess that I scanned and printed for yadda yadda yadda. You get the idea. Everything done here was on the up-and-up to the best of my knowledge and ability. With that said...
A rulebook bibliophile can use a personal POD service for any number of reasons:
- To get a print copy of a book that might be otherwise unavailable or long out of print.
- To compile loose materials into one comprehensive tome.
- To replace a well-read and loved book that's falling apart with a new copy that will hold up over the years.
- To create and bind a personal project far better than can be done at home.
- To have a hardcover version made of a book you possess in flimsy softcover.
For example, here are some uses I've found for the personal one-off print run:
D&D Classics and had them printed and bound. Cost me about $50 for the PDFs, printing, and shipping, but I now have two brand-new copies of these erstwhile tomes on my bookshelf to use. (And because of PDF watermarking to combat piracy, each and every page of both books has my name on them. Odds of them ending up in someone else's hands? "Nil.")
As long as you stay within acceptable rights for "personal use only" and use materials you legally purchased and/or possess, using a one-off, personal-use-only, print-on-demand service beats an inkjet printer and three-ring binder every time.