I’ve been awfully disappointed in book adventures lately. Not reading- that’s well enough- but in obtaining the ones I want. There was the Rip Van Winkle fiasco- about which I am still annoyed- and in the last two days I’ve been outbid on two different copies of Uncle Remus. One was the Easton press edition and one was an actually affordable copy of the antique with Br’er Rabbit smoking his rabbit tobacco on the front. (Yes, I know the stories are not politically correct- but I read them growing up and I want a copy.)
Speaking of Easton press, I’m a bit annoyed with them. I got a copy of Midsummer Night’s Dream- the cover is lovely and the art is very good. There are 8 whole plates by Arthur Rackham… and if there was ever an artist who’s style is perfect for that play, it would be he. Then I discover that there are forty Rackham plates in the original version and there’s another version that is calligraphed and has 16 plates and lots of side drawings in the text. WTF Easton? So- I want to get the version with 40 plates, get the calligraphed decorated text and (possibly) bind it in the Easton case. If not, then I’ll bind it myself and copy the original cover- or possibly one of the in text drawings.
I did buy a nice copy of it- early, tissue guarded Rackham plates, decent condition- only to have to return it because it only had 16 of the forty plates. I should have asked before buying but I had no idea there were vintage editions that only had the 16 plates.
I’m also having a difficulty with The Wizard of Oz. I want the Copelman illustrations but the newer version has a lot more black and white drawings- some full page and some in the text while the older version has much better colour plates. So I need to get both versions and somehow fit them together. I finally found endpapers I like- desert sand and if you don’t know why it’s time you re-read the book- and a ribbon for book marks. It’s nylon instead of silk which I don’t like but it’s a yellow-on-yellow check so I couldn’t resist. I’m considering adding a small drawing of a cyclone to the front endpaper and adding silver shoes to the back.
And then there’s Memory (Bujold). I have it bound but still need to decorate the cover… and I have four more Bujold books to rebind- and only two of them are in the house. Plus I still need the text block for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I want an early Bles edition but I don’t want to either pay a fortune for it or have one that’s been written in, highlighted or otherwise damaged in the text block. I don’t care if the cover is half off or if a library has added stamps and a pocket to the endpapers- just leave the body alone! So far I have bought one that a library added stamps not only front and back but in the page margins every couple of pages… and several that were in the text itself! Stupid library. And one that was billed as a Bles edition that when I got it, was a Macmillan edition. Yes, it matters, bother it!
Books would be a lot more restful if I either had unlimited funds or was a bit less picky. I don’t expect either one will actually happen.