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Re: [mythsoc] Re: _Children of Hurin_ editions compared

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  • 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 1 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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