Friday, July 21, 2006

Bound for glory

I adore books, especially really nice books. And for almost 20 years, I’ve been a pretty steady customer of Easton Press, “America’s leading publisher of fine leather-bound books.” Every volume Easton produces is gorgeous, printed on acid-neutral paper and featuring hubbed spines accented with 22-karet gold, moiré fabric endsheets, gilded page ends, and a bound-in, satin-ribbon page marker. And every volume is expensive, running anywhere from $59 to $149.

The first purchase I made from Easton Press was a three-volume, centenary edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Since then, I’ve bought a six-volume set of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novels and a five-volume set of his Mars books, a set of Ayn Rand’s novels, a three-volume collection of Conan Doyle’s Professor Challenger stories, and the 50-volume Harvard Classics. Yeah, I’ve got a lot of money wrapped up in these books, but I adore them. I can open one up and sit for hours, just smelling the leather. Right now, I’m eying a wonderful set of the first six Tom Swift books by Victor Appleton and another set of Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel novels.

But to the point of this story...

Easton’s latest catalog arrived in today’s mail. Some books just shouldn’t be bound in leather. Here are a few items I will not be adding to my library anytime soon:

The Maya Angelou Collection (six volumes, one signed, $354)
The House Plant Encyclopedia ($99)
Miles Gone By, by William F. Buckley, Jr. (signed, $99)
Ending the Vietnam War, by Henry Kissinger (signed, $99)
Our Endangered Values, by Jimmy Carter (signed, $126)
Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin (signed, $79.50)
The Warren Commission Report ($96)

Holy shit! The Warren Commission Report?


At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Warren Report? It's a fine example of contemporary fiction... ;)

At 10:51 PM, Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Angelou's inaugural poem was godawful, but her prose isn't half bad IMO. Her style reminds me a little of the old Southern Gothic writers.

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Warren Report was a bedtime story for the sheep; however, you might give 'Team of Rivals' a second look. And those EP books are sure pretty, ain't they?


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