Love and Book bindings

Advent 1 – Thursday

[ now playing? ] paramore – the final riot!

OK, so a special order came in for me today at Folio Books (FB) here in Brisbane.

And a quick plug, Folio Books has got to be my one of my two favorite bookshops in Brisbane (along with The American Bookstore [AB] on Elizabeth St).

Yes, those of you from EMP might think that Borders is my favorite bookshop to be in, but nuh-uh. FB and AB are the places where I do most of my serious book buying from.

FB has got probably the best special order service around and the staff there are friendly, courteous and very helpful. Their film, music, design, architecture, fashion/style, art and stationery selections on offer are first-class and the rest of what’s available in store is superb as well. The erm… *ahem* scenery (if you know what I mean) is also good too. Prices are sometimes even better than the chain stores (like Borders, Dymocks, QBD and Angus & Robertson) too. And even better, you support a local Brisbane small business as well.

But back to my special order…

Penguin's Poems for Love - Selected=
Penguin's Poems for Love - Selected by Laura Barber

Yes, you see correctly. It’s a book of love poetry from across the ages. I’m a softie at heart. I like poetry. Even if I have written some horrid poetry myself. There’s something about the writing process that is cathartic and which opens the mind and spirit to inspiration from above and within.

But one slight issue with this release from Penguin (these pictures are taken from the website of one of the cover designers at Penguin Books UK)…

Inside Poems of Love - pages 96-97
Inside Poems for Love - pages 96-97

The page layout is beautiful. Uncluttered, each poem having enough space to present itself and for the reader to take it in. There are two ribbons. Score.

But I have been unable to thus far lay my copy out on a table like in the above picture of pages 96-97.

You want to know why? See the next pic…

Inside Poems of Love - The Fan Position
Inside Poems for Love - The Fan Position

The pages hardly lay flat at all. That indicates to me one thing. My bane in a hardback edition:



How can I tell? I open up to any page and want to lay it flat and I can hear the audible cracking as the glue and paper separate.

If anyone from Penguin Books reads this blog entry, I only have one question for them:

Is it too much to ask for hardback editions that are priced at A$40 and above to have sewn bindings so the pages can really lay flat when the books are opened up?

But I will say this, with this particular book, the cover designer has done a helluva job (two thumbs up from me). I love it.

It’s just a shame that the whole book is let down by the double-fan adhesive binding (I think) that Penguin used (presumably to save on costs).

I hope they issue this out in a deluxe edition with a proper sewn binding, because I’d buy that as well. Because everything else in this edition is pretty much perfect.

The paper is the right weight and color (a cream color that is very conducive to easy reading). The two bookmark ribbons that are in very tasteful and classy shades of red. The mixture of cloth and printed paper for the front and back covers. The red colored front and back endpapers. Right up to the red colored cloth headbands at the top and bottom of the spine.

But that darn glued binding… grrrrrrrrr.


+ 2211hrs


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