Literature Division’s Little Secret: ABC Press


ABC PressWhen you enter Chittagong’s Bible Literature Center, you won’t see it. When you peek in on Literature Division’s editorial staff proof-reading a draft, you’d never guess. When you walk through the book-store and talk with our salesmen, you’ll choose and buy our books, but you won’t realize the origin of your sales-receipt. Literature Division has a secret. In the back rooms, ABC Press is printing, cutting, and shipping materials far and wide.

ABC Press isn’t a big operation; it’s a one-man show. But it meets the printing needs of many of AOB’s programs. When Memorial Christian Hospital’s doctor writes up a request for physical therapy treatment, he uses ABC Press papers. When the translators’ air-conditioner breaks on a hot day, they request help from MCH workshop electricians, using ABC Press’s note-pads.

SudhirSudhir Kormakar, ABC Press operator, knows his job through experiences galore. He remembers when these old printing machines were purchased from a Japanese company decades ago. He’s fixed virtually all the parts on each of these machines; he’s crawled under them all. He pats one machine as he tells me.

He then explains the procedure for printing note-pads for Memorial Christian Hospital:

  1. He makes the “plate” for each design from tissue paper lay-out, and he stores each plate in a dark area, so that it can be reused countless times.
  2. Next he measures paper size. He wastes no paper here, placing four of the pages on one paper. The first machine cuts the page to size.
  3. Now to print it. Sudhir must stay alert to assure that each page is set and parallel. He lays out the freshly printed pages to dry without smudge marks.
  4. Each page is then cut again. From the larger paper, he cuts four identical cards.
  5. He binds the pages into note-pads. He also binds books and repairs old books.
  6. And last but not least, he regularly checks, cleans, and oils the machines. Sudhir tells me that maintenance is the most important job, because non-working machines means no work.

So he nods at me, lifts another stack of papers, and turns back to carry on with his responsibilities. We’ll no longer take those pads of paper for granted.

Thanks, ABC Press.