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_Children of Hurin_ editions compared

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 of 27 , May 19 9:23 AM
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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 6 of 27 , May 20 7:44 AM
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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 7 of 27 , May 20 9:41 AM
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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 8 of 27 , May 20 11:34 AM
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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 9 of 27 , May 21 3:06 AM
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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 10 of 27 , May 21 7:49 AM
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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 11 of 27 , May 21 9:51 AM
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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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