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Re:Drout's Blog and Of Sorcerers and Men

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  • Mattie G.
    Recorded Books, Inc. also produced the Michael Drout lecture series under the title Rings, Swords and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature. Libraries
    Message 1 of 27 , Apr 13, 2007
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      Recorded Books, Inc. also produced the Michael Drout lecture series under the title "Rings, Swords and Monsters: Exploring Fantasy Literature." Libraries might have a copy of this one.

      Mattie G.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of Words). Much better informed than Appleyard s, without being a puff piece:
      Message 2 of 27 , Apr 14, 2007
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        This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of
        Words). Much better informed than Appleyard's,
        without being a puff piece:

        http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
        arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
        article1649664.ece
      • David Bratman
        The ritual posthumous Tolkien is boring genuflection at the start is annoying, but once you get into it it s pleasant to see that Marshall knows what he s
        Message 3 of 27 , Apr 14, 2007
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          The ritual "posthumous Tolkien is boring" genuflection at the start is annoying, but once you get into it it's pleasant to see that Marshall knows
          what he's talking about (no surprise). I'd rather thought this was mostly a repackaging, and that there was no major cache of new material, and Marshall confirms this.


          -----Original Message-----
          >From: William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...>
          >Sent: Apr 14, 2007 2:14 PM
          >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: [mythsoc] Another Children of Hurin review
          >
          >This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of
          >Words). Much better informed than Appleyard's,
          >without being a puff piece:
          >
          >http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
          >arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
          >article1649664.ece
        • Jeremy Edmonds
          Another review at the TimesOnline.com site: this one falls in the category of brutally against Tolkien. Sentences with a gnomic brevity derived from the
          Message 4 of 27 , Apr 15, 2007
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            Another review at the TimesOnline.com site: this one falls in the category of
            brutally against Tolkien.

            "Sentences with a gnomic brevity derived from the sagas are overwhelmed by
            pages of self-indulgent feebleness."

            http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/article1639071.ece


            Jeremy
            --- David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:

            > The ritual "posthumous Tolkien is boring" genuflection at the start is
            > annoying, but once you get into it it's pleasant to see that Marshall knows
            > what he's talking about (no surprise). I'd rather thought this was mostly a
            > repackaging, and that there was no major cache of new material, and Marshall
            > confirms this.
            >
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > >From: William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...>
            > >Sent: Apr 14, 2007 2:14 PM
            > >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            > >Subject: [mythsoc] Another Children of Hurin review
            > >
            > >This one by Jeremy Marshall (The Ring of
            > >Words). Much better informed than Appleyard's,
            > >without being a puff piece:
            > >
            > >http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
            > >arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
            > >article1649664.ece
            >
            >
          • William Cloud Hicklin
            A much more balanced piece in The Independent: http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/reviews/ article2450332.ece ... this one falls in the category of ...
            Message 5 of 27 , Apr 16, 2007
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              A much more balanced piece in The Independent:

              http://enjoyment.independent.co.uk/books/reviews/
              article2450332.ece


              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jeremy Edmonds
              <jeremy@...> wrote:
              >
              > Another review at the TimesOnline.com site:
              this one falls in the category of
              > brutally against Tolkien.
              >
              > "Sentences with a gnomic brevity derived from
              the sagas are overwhelmed by
              > pages of self-indulgent feebleness."
              >
              > http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
              arts_and_entertainment/books/fiction/
              article1639071.ece
              >

              One wonders why on earth this person was tabbed
              to review it. Vide Lewis's comments regarding
              reviewing and detective stories. In this case,
              it reads like a review of /Amazing Grace/
              written by a Klansman.
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              I received my copies of both the US (Houghton Mifflin) and UK (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of Húrin_ today, and wanted to let interested
              Message 6 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
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                I received my copies of both the US (Houghton Mifflin) and UK
                (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of Húrin_ today, and
                wanted to let interested readers know that while identical in
                contents, the UK edition is larger in page size (also in plate size,
                for the illustrations), in better boards, on better paper, and with
                better (sewn) binding. For my money, in terms of attractiveness and
                durability, it's well worth the additional cost to get the UK edition
                instead of the US one.

                FWIW.

                Carl
              • Jason Fisher
                Wow. Color me surprised. Thanks for letting us know, Carl. I figured the exact opposite would be true. I m looking at my copy of the extended edition of Smith
                Message 7 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
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                  Wow. Color me surprised. Thanks for letting us know, Carl.

                  I figured the exact opposite would be true. I'm looking at my copy of the extended edition of Smith of Wootton Major as I write this � printed as it is on what appears to be heavy, recycled newspaper; in fact, I think it might have been used by a homeless person to keep the rain off before the text was printed on it. And the binding is clogged together with the kind of glue that ... well ... let's just say, the Rohirrim wouldn't be too happy about it.

                  Jason

                  ----- Carl F. Hostetter <Aelfwine@...> ----

                  I received my copies of both the US (Houghton Mifflin) and UK
                  (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of H�rin_ today, and
                  wanted to let interested readers know that while identical in
                  contents, the UK edition is larger in page size (also in plate size,
                  for the illustrations) , in better boards, on better paper, and with
                  better (sewn) binding. For my money, in terms of attractiveness and
                  durability, it's well worth the additional cost to get the UK edition
                  instead of the US one.

                  FWIW.

                  Carl

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jeremy Edmonds
                  Hi all, I am interested in getting some back issues of the Tolkien fanzine Tyalië Tyelelliéva, run by Lisa Star but currently inactive. Her webpage has an
                  Message 8 of 27 , Apr 18, 2007
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                    Hi all,

                    I am interested in getting some back issues of the Tolkien fanzine Tyalië
                    Tyelelliéva, run by Lisa Star but currently inactive. Her webpage has an email
                    contact address on it, which does not bounce but she has not responded to any
                    inquiries that I am aware of in over a year (though she has updated the website
                    since then.) Does anyone have a better contact method for her that they could
                    share, or pass on to her that I would like to contact her?

                    http://www.geocities.com/athens/parthenon/9902/

                    Thanks,
                    Jeremy
                  • Oberhelman, D
                    I just received the HarperCollins Deluxe _Children of Hurin_ today and really like its construction. The paper is heavy, the binding firm, the helm design on
                    Message 9 of 27 , Apr 23, 2007
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                      I just received the HarperCollins Deluxe _Children of Hurin_ today and really like its construction. The paper is heavy, the binding firm, the helm design on the box is very sharp. The color in the plates is more vibrant and the details are crisper than the Houghton Mifflin trade edition (Lee's paintings look rather dull and muddy to me there). It costs a little more than the UK trade edition Carl mentioned last, but is well worth the price if you want a very nice collectible edition. It also is the same height as the other HarperCollins Deluxes/LOTR 50th.


                      David Oberhelman


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Elena Rossi
                      ... Are you sure of that? I received my copy today (I had pre-ordered it long ago but for a misunderstanding the bookshop set aside my copy and didn t send it
                      Message 10 of 27 , May 19, 2007
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                        --- "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:

                        > I received my copies of both the US (Houghton
                        > Mifflin) and UK
                        > (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of
                        > Húrin_ today, and
                        > wanted to let interested readers know that while
                        > identical in
                        > contents, the UK edition is larger in page size
                        > (also in plate size,
                        > for the illustrations), in better boards, on better
                        > paper, and with
                        > better (sewn) binding.

                        Are you sure of that?
                        I received my copy today (I had pre-ordered it long
                        ago but for a misunderstanding the bookshop set aside
                        my copy and didn't send it for some weeks), it's a
                        HarperCollins but it's not sewn, pages are just glued
                        to the spine, which I find very very disappointing!
                        :-(
                        Is it possible that there are several batches produced
                        by HarperCollins, some sewn and some glued? My copy
                        should be a first edition as far as I can tell, there
                        is written "Published by HarperCollins Publishers
                        2007" and then, on the line below, "I".

                        Oh, well, it's not that important, but I hate such
                        "false paperbacks" that fall into pieces after a few
                        readings!

                        Regards
                        Elena





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                      • hisilome
                        ... Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven t received my copy yet, and I can tell you that like you I ll certainly be disappointed if the pages are
                        Message 11 of 27 , May 20, 2007
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                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Elena Rossi <rossiele@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > --- "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > > I received my copies of both the US (Houghton
                          > > Mifflin) and UK
                          > > (HarperCollins) trade editions of _Children of
                          > > Húrin_ today, and
                          > > wanted to let interested readers know that while
                          > > identical in
                          > > contents, the UK edition is larger in page size
                          > > (also in plate size,
                          > > for the illustrations), in better boards, on better
                          > > paper, and with
                          > > better (sewn) binding.
                          >
                          > Are you sure of that?
                          > I received my copy today (I had pre-ordered it long
                          > ago but for a misunderstanding the bookshop set aside
                          > my copy and didn't send it for some weeks), it's a
                          > HarperCollins but it's not sewn, pages are just glued
                          > to the spine, which I find very very disappointing!
                          > :-(
                          > Is it possible that there are several batches produced
                          > by HarperCollins, some sewn and some glued? My copy
                          > should be a first edition as far as I can tell, there
                          > is written "Published by HarperCollins Publishers
                          > 2007" and then, on the line below, "I".
                          >
                          > Oh, well, it's not that important, but I hate such
                          > "false paperbacks" that fall into pieces after a few
                          > readings!

                          Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven't received my copy
                          yet, and I can tell you that like you I'll certainly be disappointed
                          if the pages are just glued together! This seems to happen a lot
                          these days, though, take the Houghton Mifflin (hardcover) editions
                          of "The History of Middle-earth" series, for example--but I'd have
                          expected a bit more from HarperCollins. In particular, I don't see
                          how they can sell both "sewn" and "glued" copies for the same price.
                          (I've already written to both Amazon and HarperCollins to inquire
                          about this, maybe you want to do that, too? Costs nothing...)

                          On that note, I just received my copy of the first volume of John D.
                          Rateliff's "The History of the Hobbit", and guess what: also a "false
                          paperback", as you call it. Now I'm not sure in this case if all the
                          hardcover copies have glued spines, or if there are properly sewn
                          copies out there as well? Maybe others on this list who also ordered
                          this book can satisfy my curiosity...

                          Greetings,

                          David
                        • Jason Fisher
                          ... This is interesting because when I got my U.S. Houghton-Mifflin copy from Amazon – I too had it preordered – I noticed it was a *second* printing. This
                          Message 12 of 27 , May 20, 2007
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                            > --- Elena wote: ---
                            > Are you sure of that? ...
                            > it's a HarperCollins but it's not sewn,
                            > pages are just glued to the spine ...
                            > Is it possible that there are several
                            > batches produced by HarperCollins,
                            > some sewn and some glued?

                            This is interesting because when I got my U.S. Houghton-Mifflin copy from Amazon � I too had it preordered � I noticed it was a *second* printing. This was very annoying � until I went to the bookstore and compared it to the first printing. Strangely, the second (and perhaps all subsequent?) U.S. printing was of better quality (better paper, better binding � though still not as good as Carl and David have made the first British printing sound) than the *first*! So, this sounds like the opposite situation with HarperCollins, whose first sounds better than its subsequent printings. You say you think yours is a first printing, Elena, and it may be, but I've found it's sometimes harder to tell with some publishers. Houghton-Mifflin's printings are more clearly identified.

                            So, second U.S. printing though it is, it's the one I'm keeping. For now, anyway. Whims of the publishing industry, I guess.

                            Jason

                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Elena Rossi
                            ... I too expected much better! Actually, I expected something like the edition of the Hobbit illustrated by Alan Lee... It s very similar as layout (both
                            Message 13 of 27 , May 20, 2007
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                              --- hisilome <david.vdpeet@...> wrote:

                              >>
                              > Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven't
                              > received my copy
                              > yet, and I can tell you that like you I'll certainly
                              > be disappointed
                              > if the pages are just glued together! This seems to
                              > happen a lot
                              > these days, though, take the Houghton Mifflin
                              > (hardcover) editions
                              > of "The History of Middle-earth" series, for
                              > example--but I'd have
                              > expected a bit more from HarperCollins.

                              I too expected much better!
                              Actually, I expected something like the edition of
                              "the Hobbit" illustrated by Alan Lee... It's very
                              similar as layout (both have pencil drawings at the
                              beginning of each chapter, and some full-page coloutr
                              plates.
                              But The Hobbit is printed on a beautiful glossy paper
                              (with sewn binding, even for the paperback!) that
                              makes every single pencil stroke stand out even if
                              the drawings have very delicate shades of grey... In
                              COH on the contrary, such detailed reproduction is not
                              possible because (it's only just a normal paper, not
                              especially bad quality but simply not suitable for
                              such illustration), and details disappear in a sort of
                              grey cloud that makes a very poor service to Alan
                              Lee's art :-(.
                              And if you try to look closer, you just see the dots
                              of the halftone screen :-(

                              I thought that with COH they would do the same as for
                              The Hobbit, but obviously the temptation to save a few
                              cents on each copy by making a cheap edition (cheap
                              for them, not for the readers!) was too strong.


                              > In
                              > particular, I don't see
                              > how they can sell both "sewn" and "glued" copies for
                              > the same price.
                              > (I've already written to both Amazon and
                              > HarperCollins to inquire
                              > about this, maybe you want to do that, too? Costs
                              > nothing...)

                              Oh, well, I think now it's too late...Now I have it
                              and I'll keep it...And hope that by the time it start
                              losing pages, there will be another, better edition...
                              Also, I didn't buy it from Amazon but from Forbidden
                              Planet (London), because Alan Lee would be there to
                              sign copies on 19th April and it was possible to order
                              signed copies even from the internet... And my copy
                              was signed (I'm a fan of Alan Lee), so it's
                              necessarily one that was already in the library on
                              that date (which together with the 'I' printed near
                              the copyright, makes me think it's a first edition...I
                              really don't care about first editions, but I only
                              wonder whether the stitched/sewn may depend from the
                              edition).

                              >
                              > On that note, I just received my copy of the first
                              > volume of John D.
                              > Rateliff's "The History of the Hobbit", and guess
                              > what: also a "false
                              > paperback", as you call it.

                              I haven't bought it yet, but I'm rather disappointed
                              to hear that :-(
                              (I meant a "false hardback", but probably the concept
                              is the same).
                              Another sad example of this is the extended edition of
                              Somith of Wootton Major edited by Verlyn Flieger...
                              The book is magnificent; there is the reproduction of
                              all the first edition (with illustrations by Pauline
                              Baynes), then notes and commentaries, then the
                              original draft by Tolkien (pictures of every single
                              page, with transcription on the opposite page)...All
                              this ruined by a binding where pages (made of rather
                              rigid paper) seem to fly away from the first time you
                              open the book.


                              > Now I'm not sure in this
                              > case if all the
                              > hardcover copies have glued spines, or if there are
                              > properly sewn
                              > copies out there as well? Maybe others on this list
                              > who also ordered
                              > this book can satisfy my curiosity...

                              Well, I've never heard that a book was issued in two
                              such different forms at the same time by the same
                              publisher, that's why I asked Carl if he was sure that
                              the COH he owns is really sewn (sometimes the
                              difference is obvious, but sometimes pages are packed
                              very strictly and it's not easy to see the
                              difference!); or maybe he has the Deluxe edition? (I
                              think the Deluxe edition is sewn, or what Deluxe
                              edition is it?)

                              Regards
                              Elena



                              ____________________________________________________________________________________
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                            • hisilome
                              ... Well, I don t own or have seen the Lee Hobbit , but it sounds like a nice edition! This is exactly what bothers me, there are enough examples out there of
                              Message 14 of 27 , May 21, 2007
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                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Elena Rossi <rossiele@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > --- hisilome <david.vdpeet@...> wrote:
                                > >>
                                > > Well, it may not be _that_ important, but I haven't
                                > > received my copy
                                > > yet, and I can tell you that like you I'll certainly
                                > > be disappointed
                                > > if the pages are just glued together! <snip>

                                > I too expected much better!
                                > Actually, I expected something like the edition of
                                > "the Hobbit" illustrated by Alan Lee... It's very
                                > similar as layout (both have pencil drawings at the
                                > beginning of each chapter, and some full-page coloutr
                                > plates.
                                > But The Hobbit is printed on a beautiful glossy paper
                                > (with sewn binding, even for the paperback!) that
                                > makes every single pencil stroke stand out even if
                                > the drawings have very delicate shades of grey...

                                Well, I don't own or have seen the "Lee Hobbit", but it sounds like a
                                nice edition! This is exactly what bothers me, there are enough
                                examples out there of how it can be done, incl. also the first and
                                second edition of Anderson's "Annotated Hobbit" [my copies published
                                by Unwin Hyman / HarperCollins, respectively--truth be told, in terms
                                of paper quality and reproductions, the second edition is superior to
                                the first, which is considerably larger in page size and comes with a
                                very different dust jacket, but has only B&W / two-color
                                illustrations which are often a bit small for my taste].
                                Or there is the second edition (haven't seen the first) of "The Road
                                Goes Ever On" [George Allen & Unwin, 1978], or the latest works by
                                Hammond and Scull, the "LotR Reader's Companion" [here the
                                HarperCollins / Houghton Mifflin editions are practically identical,
                                at least mine] and the "Tolkien Companion and Guide", or even the
                                paperback edition [Houghton Mifflin] of the earlier "J.R.R. Tolkien:
                                Artist and Illustrator". All printed on decent to very good paper,
                                all sewn and with good quality reproductions of pictures and drawings
                                (if present).
                                Compare that to later printings of the History of Middle-earth by
                                Houghton Mifflin which are usually shoddily glued together and
                                consistently leave out color frontispieces, which were originally a
                                feature in several volumes (others had no frontispiece [e.g. BoLT 2],
                                and yet others had a B&W frontispiece [e.g. BoLT 1])--now
                                HarperCollins doesn't issue those single-volume copies anymore (well,
                                only as paperbacks, that is).
                                Houghton Mifflin used to have the frontispieces in their first
                                editions (with the exception of Volume XII, I believe), but now
                                they've decided to save money instead. The thing is, they don't tell
                                you that if you order the books on their site, or at Amazon, for that
                                matter. (On-line) second-hand book dealers often seem to give you a
                                lot more details about individual copies, and I've usually found them
                                to be quite reliable.

                                I'm rambling on and on. If you're still with me, I'd just like to
                                encourage everybody that whenever receiving a copy that's not what
                                you had a right to expect, or it's just sloppily manufactured, I
                                think it doesn't hurt to send the publishers / dealers some feedback.
                                Maybe it will make a bit of a difference.

                                > In COH on the contrary, such detailed reproduction is not
                                > possible because (it's only just a normal paper, not
                                > especially bad quality but simply not suitable for
                                > such illustration), and details disappear in a sort of
                                > grey cloud that makes a very poor service to Alan
                                > Lee's art :-(.
                                > And if you try to look closer, you just see the dots
                                > of the halftone screen :-(
                                >
                                > I thought that with COH they would do the same as for
                                > The Hobbit, but obviously the temptation to save a few
                                > cents on each copy by making a cheap edition (cheap
                                > for them, not for the readers!) was too strong.

                                Exactly! Either they make it cheap (and that also means selling it
                                cheap[er]), or they do it right, and then they can charge a decent
                                price.

                                <snip>

                                > Well, I've never heard that a book was issued in two
                                > such different forms at the same time by the same
                                > publisher, that's why I asked Carl if he was sure that
                                > the COH he owns is really sewn (sometimes the
                                > difference is obvious, but sometimes pages are packed
                                > very strictly and it's not easy to see the
                                > difference!); or maybe he has the Deluxe edition? (I
                                > think the Deluxe edition is sewn, or what Deluxe
                                > edition is it?)
                                > Regards
                                > Elena

                                Carl was explicitly referring to the trade editions, and I think
                                those are the "normal" hardcover editions, not the deluxe ones. So I
                                think if your copy is really just glued together, then HarperCollins
                                did exactly that: issue the book in two different forms at the same
                                time.

                                It's true that it can sometimes be a little bit tricky to see if a
                                copy is sewn or not, but a close examination usually leaves no doubt.

                                Amazon actually replied to my inquiry to let me know that I'll be
                                receiving a hardcover edition of CoH with sewn binding--so I'm
                                keeping my fingers crossed. No word on "The History of the Hobbit",
                                though...

                                Anyway, I'm sorry I've been reeling way off topic throughout the
                                entire post, and of course the content is more important than the
                                package. It just adds to the enjoyment when both match each other in
                                quality!

                                Greetings,

                                David
                              • William Cloud Hicklin
                                FWIW, my trade edition of CoH (obtained through Amazon) is definitely sewn.
                                Message 15 of 27 , May 21, 2007
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                                  FWIW, my trade edition of CoH (obtained through
                                  Amazon) is definitely sewn.
                                • Elena Rossi
                                  ... Yes, it is... Even the paperback is very solidly bound, with glossy paper and stitched binding...The only difference with the hardback is that the cover
                                  Message 16 of 27 , May 21, 2007
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                                    --- hisilome <david.vdpeet@...> wrote:

                                    > Well, I don't own or have seen the "Lee Hobbit", but
                                    > it sounds like a
                                    > nice edition!
                                    Yes, it is... Even the "paperback" is very solidly
                                    bound, with glossy paper and stitched binding...The
                                    only difference with the hardback is that the cover
                                    (of course) is not rigid.

                                    >This is exactly what bothers me, there
                                    > are enough
                                    > examples out there of how it can be done, incl. also
                                    > the first and
                                    > second edition of Anderson's "Annotated Hobbit" [my
                                    > copies published
                                    > by Unwin Hyman / HarperCollins, respectively--truth
                                    > be told, in terms
                                    > of paper quality and reproductions, the second
                                    > edition is superior to
                                    > the first, which is considerably larger in page size
                                    > and comes with a
                                    > very different dust jacket, but has only B&W /
                                    > two-color
                                    > illustrations which are often a bit small for my
                                    > taste].
                                    > Or there is the second edition (haven't seen the
                                    > first) of "The Road
                                    > Goes Ever On" [George Allen & Unwin, 1978], or the
                                    > latest works by
                                    > Hammond and Scull, the "LotR Reader's Companion"
                                    > [here the
                                    > HarperCollins / Houghton Mifflin editions are
                                    > practically identical,
                                    > at least mine] and the "Tolkien Companion and
                                    > Guide", or even the
                                    > paperback edition [Houghton Mifflin] of the earlier
                                    > "J.R.R. Tolkien:
                                    > Artist and Illustrator". All printed on decent to
                                    > very good paper,
                                    > all sewn and with good quality reproductions of
                                    > pictures and drawings
                                    > (if present).

                                    That's true! Books by Hammond and Scull have all
                                    excellent editions, very solid and that won't fall
                                    apart even after years of use (that's important, as
                                    being works of consultation, they should resist to a
                                    "heavy use").

                                    > Compare that to later printings of the History of
                                    > Middle-earth by
                                    > Houghton Mifflin which are usually shoddily glued
                                    > together and
                                    > consistently leave out color frontispieces, which
                                    > were originally a
                                    > feature in several volumes (others had no
                                    > frontispiece [e.g. BoLT 2],
                                    > and yet others had a B&W frontispiece [e.g. BoLT
                                    > 1])--now
                                    > HarperCollins doesn't issue those single-volume
                                    > copies anymore (well,
                                    > only as paperbacks, that is).

                                    Yes, I only have them paperbacks :-(
                                    There are hardbacks made by packing three books
                                    together, but frankly they seem to me too bulky to be
                                    practical... Single volumes would be better.

                                    > Houghton Mifflin used to have the frontispieces in
                                    > their first
                                    > editions (with the exception of Volume XII, I
                                    > believe), but now
                                    > they've decided to save money instead. The thing is,
                                    > they don't tell
                                    > you that if you order the books on their site, or at
                                    > Amazon, for that
                                    > matter.

                                    Well, I'm in Italy and I can't even see such books in
                                    normal bookshops, so I often have to order them
                                    "blindly" on the internet.
                                    Sometimes they are better than I expected (as The
                                    Hobbit by Alan Lee or books by W. Hammond and
                                    C.Scull), sometimes they are worse :-(

                                    > (On-line) second-hand book dealers often
                                    > seem to give you a
                                    > lot more details about individual copies, and I've
                                    > usually found them
                                    > to be quite reliable.

                                    I had never thought of that, I'll keep it in mind for
                                    next time...


                                    > I'm rambling on and on. If you're still with me, I'd
                                    > just like to
                                    > encourage everybody that whenever receiving a copy
                                    > that's not what
                                    > you had a right to expect, or it's just sloppily
                                    > manufactured, I
                                    > think it doesn't hurt to send the publishers /
                                    > dealers some feedback.
                                    > Maybe it will make a bit of a difference.
                                    >

                                    Well, a couple of years ago i bought from Amazon a
                                    "hardback" edition of The Silmarillion, to substitute
                                    my old Allen&Unwin paperback edition that was starting
                                    to lose pages (after many readings). I was not
                                    interested in a "deluxe" or illustrated copy, I just
                                    wanted a good hardback with sewn binding...Actually
                                    what I received was a _glued_ hardback :-(; and not
                                    only that; the quality of the edition was appalling,
                                    especially when confronted with my old paperback
                                    edition!! Margins were practically nonexistent, while
                                    the font used was much smaller than the one of my old
                                    copy... OK, I still have a good sight :-), but the
                                    comparison with the old paperback was shameful. And
                                    the new edition was not even particularly cheap!!
                                    I wrote a complaint mail to HarperCollins, telling
                                    them what I thought of their poor edition of
                                    Silmarillion (I remember I told the the only thing
                                    that was good was the dustjacket)- not that I expected
                                    anything, but I think that if people don't start to
                                    complain, publishers maybe think that we don't even
                                    notice.
                                    Actually, very surprisingly, they answered and asked
                                    my address, apologizing for my disappointing and
                                    offering a replecement...And they sent me for free an
                                    illustrated (by Ted Nasmith) copy, which was sewn and
                                    was a good edition. But I'm afraid they missed my
                                    point, which was not so much my _personal_
                                    disappointment over that book, but the fact that
                                    publishers should try to make _good_ books, not things
                                    that look cheap in every detail except the price.


                                    > Exactly! Either they make it cheap (and that also
                                    > means selling it
                                    > cheap[er]), or they do it right, and then they can
                                    > charge a decent
                                    > price.

                                    That's right, a cover price of 18.99 pounds is in
                                    exaggeration IMO for a glued binding.


                                    >
                                    > Carl was explicitly referring to the trade editions,
                                    > and I think
                                    > those are the "normal" hardcover editions, not the
                                    > deluxe ones. So I
                                    > think if your copy is really just glued together,
                                    > then HarperCollins
                                    > did exactly that: issue the book in two different
                                    > forms at the same
                                    > time.

                                    >:-(
                                    In this case I think I'll consider re-buying it...

                                    >
                                    > It's true that it can sometimes be a little bit
                                    > tricky to see if a
                                    > copy is sewn or not, but a close examination usually
                                    > leaves no doubt.
                                    >
                                    > Amazon actually replied to my inquiry to let me know
                                    > that I'll be
                                    > receiving a hardcover edition of CoH with sewn
                                    > binding--so I'm
                                    > keeping my fingers crossed. No word on "The History
                                    > of the Hobbit",
                                    > though...

                                    Well, let me know what type is your CoH when you get
                                    it...
                                    Although I think that if I buy it again, I'll probably
                                    choose the Deluxe edition to be sure (and anyway it's
                                    very discounted at the moment)...
                                    I'm sorry that the new one won't be signed by Alan
                                    Lee, but if I have to choose I prefer a better
                                    binding.

                                    >
                                    > Anyway, I'm sorry I've been reeling way off topic
                                    > throughout the
                                    > entire post, and of course the content is more
                                    > important than the
                                    > package. It just adds to the enjoyment when both
                                    > match each other in
                                    > quality!

                                    Well, of course the content is more important! But
                                    when the "package" is going to self-destroy, it also
                                    diminishes the enjoyment of the content...Besides
                                    that, if there were no alternatives (i.e. CoH was only
                                    available in glued binding) I would resign myself as
                                    "either this or nothing", but as it seems there are
                                    different editions, I hope to get one that is going to
                                    last...

                                    Regards
                                    Elena


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