Q&A with Aileen Taylor

Aileen Taylor, SYP Oxford Chair and Assistant Production Controller at Oxford University Press


You are the 2015 Chair of the SYP Oxford Committee, what do you wish to achieve in this new position?

This year I’d like to keep on encouraging members to come along to our events. SYP Oxford will be hosting the SYP conference this year and I hope to help make it another brilliant event.

Book production, what’s so fascinating about it? Tell us more about paper!

I love the technical detail that goes into making a book. Your paper choice, binding choice, coatings all massively affect the aesthetics and quality of the book. Production is generally also involved with liaising with printers, negotiating costs, organizing shipping and much more. The role can vary slightly from publisher to publisher. Interesting fact – when your old paperbacks turn yellow it’s because of a substance called lignin. When it’s exposed to light and air over time the paper turns yellow. It mainly affects mass produced paperbacks.

You’ve been living in Oxford for a few years now, do you have a favourite place to enjoy a cuppa and a good book?

When I want to sneak away from the world for a bit I go to St. Giles Café – lovely food and good coffee.

What’s your next ‘To Read’ book?

Currently I’m reading Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Café. My New Year resolution was to read some Non-Fiction, so I’m thinking I’ll read The Blunders of our Governments by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. Getting in the mood for the upcoming election!