So I'm confused about baseline grids. It's the first time I'm using them and here's the scenario. I will be typsetting about 30 odd volumes of pure text, no graphics, a reference work basically, with no columns, just the one major text frame on each page, each volume about 4-500 pages long. I understand that I should use a basline grid, or that has been the feeling I'm getting from reading around about them. So I watched a few videos on Lynda.com and set one up, my question is that when I snap to grid it obviously snaps the lines to the grid but then the 'space after' for each paragraph which I had set seems to be overridden and as a result the gap between each paragraph is too big for my liking. It doesn't look good. I preferred a space after of about 4 mm, but this is bigger than that.
So my first question is: is there any way around this? How can you use a baseline grid while maintaining a space after setting that you have in place?
Do I actually have to use a baseline grid? I can understand it would make things look more consistent and do feel like using it, if it is best practice but not at the cost of communication. Do I have to use it for every paragraph? Or do you think it would be an idea to maybe just use it for the first paragraph on each page?
Anyway, any feedback would be greatly appreciated and if you do respond please do so as though you are talking to a total novice.
Edit: adding screen shots to explain my confusion further.
I've filled it with Arabic placeholder text, in this pic, the snap to baseline is off and I've set it the way I want it with 4 mm space after, I like this much space between each paragraph, I don't see anything wrong with it? The paragraphs on each page are starting at the same height, so what's the problem here?
In this pic, snap to baseline is on and I don't like the large space between each paragraph which it is doing since it is snapping to the grid:
And here are both pages this time showing the baseline off and on respectively for the above two pages: