I think the best answer to all of your questions is to view Julianne Kost's video on creating books in Lightroom
Good links- dj_paige!
A summary answer to OPs questions #1 #2 might be-
1. Create you "Standard" collection. Select all (800?) images.
2. Open book module, set Book Preferences to "Do not autofill" and create an "Auto Layout" preset with preferred global page layout.
3. If auto-fill occurred- Clear Layout
4. Create a "Saved Book Collection" (and never use the "Standard" collection again- delete it!)
5. Add pages and images (one by one) from the Film-strip to your design. ((F6 to hide/show the film-strip)
My method is usually to use "1 image per page" as my global layout, use auto-fill, then modify or add page templates and move images about, deleting any blank unused pages.
I would like to thank both dj_paige and wobertc for their prompt and helpful answers. However, I must admit that I am much dumber than my question would have left them to believe. Because I don't usually use a laptop -- which I am currently working on, I failed to notice that the film strip at the bottom of the screen had been minimized and so after clearing the auto filled photos I wasn't able to access the photos I had put in a collection. Once I clicked on the little down arrow, I was back in business. Sorry to bother you guys. However, each of you helped me because I each case I learned a little new stuff from each of you. Many thanks and happy, healthy new year to you.