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4 Dec, 2023
2023-12-4 9:52:09 AM UTC
I think you are right about some copies being different, the same pages in my copy of The Hobbit do not lay flat, and I have to hold them down to read them.
4 Dec, 2023 (edited)
2023-12-4 9:52:46 AM UTC
This discussion comes with some regularity when new editions are published. I think most of us are reduced to subjective opinions here: the paper is good/the paper is not good, the illustrations are well reproduced/the illustrations are poorly reproduced, the binding is good/not good. Certainly one can say something about the binding being sewn or glued, but a sewn binding doesnt have to be good, and a glued binding doesnt have to be bad. One can compare different renditions of illustrations by say Ted Nasmith and compare then to prints Ted has made himself and say something objective, but one doesnt always have originals or official prints to compare with.

I would love to see the Guide do an objective comparison of various editions regarding paper quality, binding, illustrations. For example how does the centenary 1992 Alan Lee illustrated Hardbacks compare with the 2002 illustrated hardbacks and the recent hobbit + LotR box set. How do the early L.E.G.O. prints of the slipcase deluxe series compare with later printings? There are some established 'truths' in the collectors community, but what are the objective parameters here?

Finally regarding feedback to the publisher: I would guess the main reason the quality of books would drop would be production cost or environmental considerations. I doubt feedback from users would do much about that. As for things related to quality control I think the burden of evidence can be tricky. We saw examples of badly printed copies of the recent illustrated LotR deluxe, but a publisher can always question the sample size. Are we talking about one flawed copy out of 500? We do know some people contacted Harper Collins about that deluxe, but the deluxe illustrated Silmarillion that followed seemed to suffer from a lack of quality control as well regarding smudging of letters on the spine (it might be the first book ive done damage to just by picking it up and flipping through a few pages), but again i'm one reader/example.

I haven't received this recent HoME box set yet. Personally I'm getting it because I want a hardback set with John Howes amazing coverart. From what i see in the pictures I will be a happy customer/collector. I am not buying these books to read them.
4 Dec, 2023
2023-12-4 10:06:22 AM UTC
The other thing to consider is that most people have probably bought the new box set at £12.50-£15 per volume. What on Middle-earth do we expect!? I'll be happy with them. I'm sure of that.
All good points above.
4 Dec, 2023
2023-12-4 12:57:21 PM UTC
Northman & Amon, very well said for both your comments.

I agree with both, and could not think of a better way to phrase them.
4 Dec, 2023
2023-12-4 3:58:01 PM UTC

northman wrote:

This discussion comes with some regularity when new editions are published. I think most of us are reduced to subjective opinions here: the paper is good/the paper is not good, the illustrations are well reproduced/the illustrations are poorly reproduced, the binding is good/not good. Certainly one can say something about the binding being sewn or glued, but a sewn binding doesnt have to be good, and a glued binding doesnt have to be bad. One can compare different renditions of illustrations by say Ted Nasmith and compare then to prints Ted has made himself and say something objective, but one doesnt always have originals or official prints to compare with.

I would love to see the Guide do an objective comparison of various editions regarding paper quality, binding, illustrations. For example how does the centenary 1992 Alan Lee illustrated Hardbacks compare with the 2002 illustrated hardbacks and the recent hobbit + LotR box set. How do the early L.E.G.O. prints of the slipcase deluxe series compare with later printings? There are some established 'truths' in the collectors community, but what are the objective parameters here?

Finally regarding feedback to the publisher: I would guess the main reason the quality of books would drop would be production cost or environmental considerations. I doubt feedback from users would do much about that. As for things related to quality control I think the burden of evidence can be tricky. We saw examples of badly printed copies of the recent illustrated LotR deluxe, but a publisher can always question the sample size. Are we talking about one flawed copy out of 500? We do know some people contacted Harper Collins about that deluxe, but the deluxe illustrated Silmarillion that followed seemed to suffer from a lack of quality control as well regarding smudging of letters on the spine (it might be the first book ive done damage to just by picking it up and flipping through a few pages), but again i'm one reader/example.

I haven't received this recent HoME box set yet. Personally I'm getting it because I want a hardback set with John Howes amazing coverart. From what i see in the pictures I will be a happy customer/collector. I am not buying these books to read them.

I think something like that could be quite helpful for new and old collections alike; however one needs to remember that materials and quality can change between print runs.
The perceived quality of the 2020 Hobbit/LotR Illustrated Boxset seems to different quite a bit between the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. printings.

So someone issuing a blanket statement of [Release A] has better [Attribute 1] than [Release B] may not actually be the case.
4 Dec, 2023
2023-12-4 4:15:44 PM UTC

northman wrote:

As for things related to quality control I think the burden of evidence can be tricky. We saw examples of badly printed copies of the recent illustrated LotR deluxe, but a publisher can always question the sample size. Are we talking about one flawed copy out of 500? We do know some people contacted Harper Collins about that deluxe, but the deluxe illustrated Silmarillion that followed seemed to suffer from a lack of quality control as well regarding smudging of letters on the spine (it might be the first book ive done damage to just by picking it up and flipping through a few pages), but again i'm one reader/example.

To be fair, there must have been enough complaints (and to hit the financial bottom line - replacements needing to be issued) either about the recent deluxe Silmarillion alone or about the deluxe LOTR combined with the deluxe Silmarillion that they chose to use a different printer for the deluxe Hobbit. And I will say, though I did not have issues with my deluxe LOTR, I saw probably a half-dozen complaints about it. With the deluxe Silmarillion, there were at least twice that many complaints I saw, perhaps as many as 20, and my own edition had numerous problems from exterior binding, interior binding, printing issues, and packaging damage. Notably, I have not heard any complaints about the recent deluxe Hobbit produced by the new printer. Everyone has seemed to be very pleased and I've heard several folks echo my own opinion that this was the best of the three recent deluxe illustrated editions.
4 Dec, 2023
2023-12-4 6:03:11 PM UTC

Velmeran wrote:

northman wrote:

This discussion comes with some regularity when new editions are published. I think most of us are reduced to subjective opinions here: the paper is good/the paper is not good, the illustrations are well reproduced/the illustrations are poorly reproduced, the binding is good/not good. Certainly one can say something about the binding being sewn or glued, but a sewn binding doesnt have to be good, and a glued binding doesnt have to be bad. One can compare different renditions of illustrations by say Ted Nasmith and compare then to prints Ted has made himself and say something objective, but one doesnt always have originals or official prints to compare with.

I would love to see the Guide do an objective comparison of various editions regarding paper quality, binding, illustrations. For example how does the centenary 1992 Alan Lee illustrated Hardbacks compare with the 2002 illustrated hardbacks and the recent hobbit + LotR box set. How do the early L.E.G.O. prints of the slipcase deluxe series compare with later printings? There are some established 'truths' in the collectors community, but what are the objective parameters here?

Finally regarding feedback to the publisher: I would guess the main reason the quality of books would drop would be production cost or environmental considerations. I doubt feedback from users would do much about that. As for things related to quality control I think the burden of evidence can be tricky. We saw examples of badly printed copies of the recent illustrated LotR deluxe, but a publisher can always question the sample size. Are we talking about one flawed copy out of 500? We do know some people contacted Harper Collins about that deluxe, but the deluxe illustrated Silmarillion that followed seemed to suffer from a lack of quality control as well regarding smudging of letters on the spine (it might be the first book ive done damage to just by

I think something like that could be quite helpful for new and old collections alike; however one needs to remember that materials and quality can change between print runs.
The perceived quality of the 2020 Hobbit/LotR Illustrated Boxset seems to different quite a bit between the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th etc. printings.

So someone issuing a blanket statement of [Release A] has better [Attribute 1] than [Release B] may not actually be the case.

This is very true and essential for collation of experiences although we can of course only report our own preference, opinion and experience. I agree that stating the specific edition would be beneficial to this process.
7 Dec, 2023
2023-12-7 12:46:16 PM UTC
I just picked up my copy during lunch and it certainly is a handsome-looking set; I very much look forward to paging through the books themselves this evening.
7 Dec, 2023 (edited)
2023-12-7 6:36:36 PM UTC
Just noticed amazon.de showing the second boxet for preorder for about 68€ (preorder price guarantee)

Here the link
8 Dec, 2023
2023-12-8 10:06:44 AM UTC
Still waiting for mine from Awesomebooks.com.
I fear they have forgotten to order it in.
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