Tuesday, July 28, 2009

place-filling book grouse

Not much news here; backlog of poem-books to note, some CDs purchased the other day.

But here's a grouse: I've noted, over the past few years, that when I buy a hardcover book, its spine is at a nice right angle to its front & back covers (like this: |_. By the time I finish reading thru it – or even by the time I'm halfway thru – the spine is at a slant: ie, \_, with the back corner a trifle further out than the front. Am I somehow mishandling my books? I phoned a rare book dealer friend with this complaint (somehow remembering I'd once upon a time heard a set of instructions for "properly" reading a book). His response: cheap bindings; nothing to be done. Sigh.

I personally don't really give a fast flyer about acid-free superpermanent paper; if my books turn to dust 50 year hence, I probably won't be around to lament them. What I'd like is for them to look half-decent on the shelves right now.


Joseph said...


Amy said...

At least you will never be confused for a person whose books are unread and merely for show. No one who knows you would think that of course, but then anyone who knows you would be more interested in reading the spines than examining their angles, yes?

Archambeau said...

People complain about the impact of digital technology, but those guys are strictly minor-league curmudgeons. I say things have gone downhill ever since the stone tablet ceased to be commercially viable. I shake my fist at the sky and cry out in rage: "Gu-ten-be-e-e-erg!"

Laurie Duggan said...

Mark, if you lived in a country where books turn brown only weeks after they leave the store maybe you'd complain. For years my dream was to have a book printed on acid-free paper.

Anonymous said...

as a small press publisher the whole paper thing is so philosophical (not talking about the hand-made paper folks)
recycled fibers are I guess honorable and soy-based inks?
I find beauty in cheap,
Do hand binding. Can even do that "perfect back" like 10 at a time.
small print runs
local poetry a revolutionary strategy for saving planet earth
-- Alan Casline