Sunday, October 12, 2008

Cheap but tone-setting leather 

My new leather-bound Dante sits really nicely next to The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. They are the same height, same kind of leather binding. The leatherwork on the spines are the same, and the (fake) gilding on the spines and covers, the faux-leatherwork on the covers that surrounds a panting of a scene from within. It almost feels like they aren't mass-produced, and the "almost" is enough to make me happy and to imagine they aren't.

Not bad for $20 books published by Barnes and Noble ($18 with my club discount). A trade paperback can cost more.
(Tangent: I know that the low cost is because both works are in the public domain. Those trade paperbacks are under copyright protection, plus they have marketing, etc., to pay for. I know I can get both books for free on Project Gutenberg. I know the cost of these books is for layout and production, plus a healthy profit. I don't care. I got what I want, at a price I was happy to pay.)
Anyway. They look really nice next to each other. They are still to guarded of their secrets, too suspicious to do much more than silently acknowledge each other's presence. But I expect they'll talk, at least a bit.

I wish Barnes and Noble published more books in this faux rich, old style. The other authors they had were Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Homer (which I might have bought if I knew what translations the bplastic wrap contained), Sir Author Conan Doyle, Hans Christian Anderson, and Douglas Adams. Some of those authors I hate, but most I'm just dispassionate about. Either I've read them and don't care to read them again, or I read them and feel my paperback copy is sufficient.

I'm trying to think of authors I WOULD like and would buy. I have a short list:

  • Milton, Paradise Lost.
  • Euclid's Elements, maybe.
  • The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. God, yes.
  • James Clavell's Noble House books? No, probably not. Doesn't suit him.
  • Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon.
  • Aleister Crowley, complete works.

    I'll hope. My fingers are crossed. Actually, let me just go FIND my Crowley books and see if I can't get this ball rolling...

    Any other suggestions for books Barnes and Noble should release for cheap in real leather?

  • Comments:
    a. a. milne's *winnie-the-pooh* and *the house at pooh corner*, both volumes separately. i dislike reading compilations.

    madeleine l'engle's murray quartet: *a wrinkle in time*, *a wind in the door*, *a swiftly tilting planet*, and *many waters.

    p.g. wodehouse's jeeves books.

    *d'aulaire's greek myths*.

    rudyard kipling, *just so stories*.

    neil gaiman, *stardust*.

    william goldman, *the princess bride*

    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
    d'aulaire's needs the big pages for the illustrations. I think I loved that book as much for the big illustrations and floppy pages as for the text.

    Yes for Kipling. Yes for Milne (but any illustrations therein can NOT be the Disney illustrations). Yes for L'Engle.

    Stardust over any of Gaiman's others?

    And you'll hate me for this, but I still haven't read The Princess Bride. Nor have I read Wodehouse.

    What about Tolkien?
    Not super cheap, but a nice edition...


    I think you'll enjoy the explicit photos of the book on amazon.

    I covet...

    Even more than I covet your red leather edition...
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