or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment, Culture, and Sports › home library & high quality books. Easton Press
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

home library & high quality books. Easton Press

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In my search for a copy of Gibbons' The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, I came across Easton Press, a company I hadn't previously heard of. It's just about the only company that prints an unabridged version of Gibbons' work. The books appear to be very well bound in leather with hubbed spines, 22kt gold accents, gilded page edges, thread-sewn pages, etc. They're really quite pretty to look at. They offer a subscription service to various series of books which I found quite interesting. For instance they have the "100 Greatest Books Ever Written", and "Books that changed the world". I then proceeded to fire-up ebay and I found a pretty large secondary market for them, and so I thought, why not? It's nice to find that there are still some companies that care about the quality of their offerings because I hate crappily glue bindings that fall apart. Regardless, I've decided that I'm gonna divert some money to filling a decently-sized bookshelf with easton press books. With a steady supply of them on ebay, it shouldn't break the bank either.

FWIW I was briefly tempted by The Folio Society because they actually have an introductory offer whereby you can get the complete Gibbon's for 20 bucks but then have to purchase another 4 books at an approximate price of $75ea. (plus shipping I'm assuming). I don't find them as attractively made either. I much prefer leather to cloth binding.

I also did a quick search for a first edition of gibbons' out of curiosity. It can be had for 25k! Unfortunately, I think that will have to remain absent from the collection for a while...

Here's a link in case anyone else is interested:http://www.eastonpress.com/intro.asp
post #2 of 18
I quite like the Folio volumes. Some are leather bound, but they show a great deal of creativity in their book design and binding. I have several dozen Folio volumes, although I'm not currently a member. I plan to rejoin in a few months, though.
post #3 of 18
Good to know you can get them on Ebay. Every once in a while they send me a brochure in the mail, but they are so ridiculously overpriced.

On that note, sites like ABE books, half.com and ebay have really caused the price of collectible books to fall in the last few years and are great for those of us who still want to own books.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradford
Good to know you can get them on Ebay. Every once in a while they send me a brochure in the mail, but they are so ridiculously overpriced.

On that note, sites like ABE books, half.com and ebay have really caused the price of collectible books to fall in the last few years and are great for those of us who still want to own books.

I don't think I'd call them over-priced. I'd have to assume that they do a relatively small number of runs for each of their books. They also have to acquire the rights from the publisher, use premium paper, bind them properly, etc. None of that is cheap. Consider that a regular hard cover book is 30-40 bucks in the first place and it's not difficult to see where the added cost comes from.

Still, I'm not going to buy all of the books I want new if I can help it. Especially when you can get quite a lot of them off of ebay in mint condition. It seems most people just buy them to look pretty in their homes and never actually read them. Financial reasons aside, I'd rather purchase them a couple at a time so that I actually get around to reading them before they take their place on a shelf.

One of the things I love about actually owning them is that it gives people that come over a very quick insight into what interests you and immediately opens up a lot of topics for discussion, assuming you've read the books you own. I know the first place I always look at my father's place is his bookshelf.

EDIT: Folio Society on the other hand seems expensive, and many seem to have regular bindings unlike the Easton Press books which all maintain a consistent look and quality. I can understand that they need to make-up their loss on the introductory offer, but there's no way in hell i'd continue paying $75+/book (cdn) after I had fulfilled my initial obligation.
post #5 of 18
Tangentially, I almost always prefer used books, provided they are in good condition, to new ones for aesthetic reasons.

One of these days I really want to read the whole Decline and Fall. I believe I've heard it called the best work of scholarship in any of the humanities ever.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
They also have to acquire the rights from the publisher, use premium paper . . . Consider that a regular hard cover book is 30-40 bucks in the first place and it's not difficult to see where the added cost comes from.

Just a couple points. It looks like a lot of their titles are in the public domain. In that case, there is no payment to an author or estate holder. The production cost of a regular hardcover book is very small, around $2-$3 a book. These editions are clearly more expensive to produce, but because the press is selling them direct to the consumer, they're pocketing a lot more money. The markup from wholesale to retail is 100% for most books. And distribution costs for Easton are lower because they don't have to ship tens of thousands of copies to bookstores, and accept returns for unsold copies.

Personally, I think the design on these is a little gaudy. I much prefer Library of America. http://libraryofamerica.org/
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
Tangentially, I almost always prefer used books, provided they are in good condition, to new ones for aesthetic reasons.

I disagree. So much of what is produced is to poor standards. When I'm in the library I can't help notice how ugly a lot of the books are. I love the idea of all my books being bound in leather with gilded edges and all the rest of it, especially if they're going to be on display after I read them. Those easton press books are very attractive.

Having said that, collecting rare books would be something I could really see myself getting in to, but I don't have the funds for that sort of thing.
post #8 of 18
I actually think a lot of the books produced in the '50s and '60s are rather chic in that ineffably retro way. Of course, the problem with "retro" books are those cellophane covers, which wear.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
I disagree. So much of what is produced is to poor standards. When I'm in the library I can't help notice how ugly a lot of the books are. I love the idea of all my books being bound in leather with gilded edges and all the rest of it, especially if they're going to be on display after I read them. Those easton press books are very attractive.

Having said that, collecting rare books would be something I could really see myself getting in to, but I don't have the funds for that sort of thing.
See, I like the more ecclectic library aesthetic. Plus, I like old books: the smell, the sense of history imparted upon it by previous owners. Sort of like why I prefer collecting old military firearms to new ones: each scratch has some story associated with it, just like each inscription or dogear is a memento of someone's life.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Appleby
See, I like the more ecclectic library aesthetic. Plus, I like old books: the smell, the sense of history imparted upon it by previous owners. Sort of like why I prefer collecting old military firearms to new ones: each scratch has some story associated with it, just like each inscription or dogear is a memento of someone's life.

That depends on where they were stored. A lot of the time they just smell moldy. Regardless, until I can afford first editions (if ever), I'll continue to buy books that are in mint condition. I don't like other peoples' wear and tear on my books. Even with my own stuff, I always treat everything with the utmost of care.

I doubt we'll ever settle this disagreement. It's the same as old vs. new car, or old vs. new house. I like things to be new, with the exception of collectibles.

LK brings up another point.. I HATE book jackets. You have to be so careful with the damned things and even when you are, they always wind-up damaged and then all you're left with is a cheaply bound book that looks plain sitting on your shelves :P

PS. I hope nobody draws too many conclusions about my personality from this thread. :P
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek
.
I doubt we'll ever settle this disagreement. It's the same as old vs. new car, or old vs. new house. I like things to be new, with the exception of collectibles.
Indeed not. I like things to be old, with very few exceptions (women and food come to mind.) Still, I think we see where we come from respectively.
post #12 of 18
Ahh, format/content. Which matters most?
post #13 of 18
I prefer older women. But unbound -- they're more classier that way.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnapril
Ahh, format/content. Which matters most?

poor format makes anything unpleasant to read or look at, regardless of the content. so i vote 'format'.
post #15 of 18
As pretty as those leather-bound, gold-paged volumes are, I avoid them because the translations are always dated. I'm a real stickler for having the most up to date translation possible for foreign literature. Modern translations pay more attention/homage to the style or tone of the novel, as opposed to an old translation done by some overly-wordy Brit. Matthew Ward for Camus, Volokhonsky for Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, Raffel for Cervantes, Steegmuller for Flaubert, Fitzgerald for Homer/Virgil, etc etc. Ok ok, Robert Fitzgerald might not be the most recent translator for the ancient Greek and Roman works, but damn it, he is STILL the best.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Entertainment, Culture, and Sports › home library & high quality books. Easton Press