Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fancy books

I really prefer e-reading these days. It actually surprised me how soon I not only got used to it, but came to prefer it over paper. But still: if a book is a work of art, it can't be resisted. Like books with "inlaid leather" for example. Very cool. Unfortunately some of the prices are "very cool" too, like three thousand pounds sterling (nearly 5k dollars)! Hhhhhhhhh! That's like a punch in the stomach.


Or how about this (admittedly lovely) Tennyson volume, 1st edition, for 11,000 Pounds? I'm thinking "serious collector"...


Some are only in the hundreds of pounds, but still I guess most of them will not be read, so much as kept. 
Also interesting: "Cosway bindings" and "fore-edge paintings". 

Anyway, the idea is not bad, and nice and collectable books can be made for prices ordinary mortals can confront also, although higher than present mass-produced hardbacks. I think this is where the paper-book market goes eventually. 

10 comments:

Alex said...

Oh, I like fancy books. I've gone Kindle (Christmas gift) and want to go 100% e-book. It's a shame you have to turn them off for the last 20 min of a flight, didn't have to do that with real books, or old cameras.

Anyway, Fancy Books - got myself the reprint of the Gorey illustrated War of the Worlds, the anniversary edn's of "Fahrenheit 451" and "Animal Farm" with interesting art. Several others just for the look. That's what I want my shelf space for.

eolake said...

Yes, I have books all over the apartment, and I would feel weird having a home without books. Odd.

I've been in many homes without book shelves, though, it seemed very strange to me.

The iPhone has an "airplane mode". The Kindle oughta have too.
I wonder if anybody has ever proved that cell phones can cause problems for planes?

Anonymous said...

It will be a sad day when the only books being produced are these "fancy" editions which will sit on shelves and never be read.

eolake said...

I think that if the buyer is a reader, and not just a collector, he'll buy a cheap paperback or an ebook edition, and read that without fear of ruining a $2000 book.

Anna said...

> I wonder if anybody has ever proved that cell phones can cause problems for planes?

I am convinced it is mainly for keeping people calm and concentrated on the travel. No incoming problems should disturb the flight. If everybody was talking on the phone, it would be quite disturbing for those who want to sleep. Imagine a few people crying because they have just received bad news, and a bunch of others fighting for hours. That can be a problem. :)

Joe said...

"watercolor drawing of a naked woman in mourning by the sea"

Even back in 1850, this is another example of putting an attractive woman on the cover to sell books.
Joe

Anonymous said...

I think that if the buyer is a reader, and not just a collector, he'll buy a cheap paperback or an ebook edition, and read that without fear of ruining a $2000 book.

What I meant was that ebooks may one day so dominate that those cheap paperbacks aren't produced anymore, and the only "real" (i.e. paper) books around are these expensive, fancy editions.

eolake said...

Yes, that might well happen. Let's hope they are not all in the hundreds-of-dollars league then.

Dave Nielsen said...

They probably would. The only reason, I bet, they're able to make cheap paperbacks today is because of the crappy quality of the paper and binding and the sheer volume. If you had "prestige" hardcover editions made every year they'd probably be at least hundreds. Maybe people in the future won't care. When they invented the bound book they didn't go back to scrolls. When they invented paper, they didn't go back to animal skins or papyrus.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty much what I meant. Real books will become for the rich only again as it was in the Middle Ages. Since electronic things are mor easily controlled it will allow governments of the future to more easily control what information we're allowed to have.