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Tolkien Collector's Guide
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Jun 6, 2014
2014/6/6 6:16:46 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:
I got the same email as well.

I am hoping that HarperCollins would think about an independent release of the Audio CD of the so far unreleased audio, by Tolkien, from the The Hobbit, as they appear to be facing issues with producing the Facsimile Hobbit.


It would be nice, but I have my doubts as to whether the market would be big enough for them to bother with a separate release.
Jun 18, 2014
2014/6/18 21:36:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
What's this in the post? Not the usual internal Speedyhen packaging...

BH

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Jun 19, 2014
2014/6/19 1:43:41 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:
What's this in the post? Not the usual internal Speedyhen packaging...

BH

Nice. There may be some hope in it arriving in one piece, then. Mine got dispatched by Amazon today.
Jun 19, 2014
2014/6/19 7:52:58 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I'd be interested in seeing a photo of the book and slipcase, if you get a chance, Khamul. I'm guessing mine will be at least a couple of weeks away.
Jun 19, 2014
2014/6/19 18:43:18 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I got the book today, I like the book and the new versions of the illustrations, you can see quite a difference when comparing with the original illustrations.

I also like the new fold-out illustration at the front of the book (4th picture below).

Bad points for me are that even though the book was in a box, it was still damaged as you can see from the pictures, so will be sending it back.

The plastic case is infuriating to put the book back into, and is almost certain to get broken if you read this book a lot.

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Jun 19, 2014 (edited)
2014/6/19 22:23:45 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks for uploading the pictures. The book looks nice enough. The plastic case looks absolutely rubbish - I once had a mobile phone that came in throw-away packaging with an almost identical finish (to be fair, I still have the packaging - not the phone - in a kitchen cupboard with a load of loose recipes stuffed in it, so it was good packaging). I hate to be a complainer (yeah, right!), but it really is not a material to use for things you want to last. Cheap plastics rarely stand up well. It is not 'if the folded bits crack', it is 'when'. Do not read at low temperatures, I guess...
Jun 19, 2014
2014/6/19 22:35:42 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:
Thanks for uploading the pictures. The book looks nice enough. The plastic case looks absolutely rubbish - I once had a mobile phone that came in throw-away packaging with an almost identical finish (to be fair, I still have the packaging - not the phone - in a kitchen cupboard with a load of loose recipes stuffed in it, so it was good packaging). I hate to be a complainer (yeah, right!), but it really is not a material to use for things you want to last. Cheap plastics rarely stand up well. It is not if the folded bits crack, it is when. Do not read at low temperatures, I guess...

I agree with you, the problem with the plastic slipcase, is that it is very difficult to put the book into the case, and the more times you try this, the more likely it is that the flimsy plastic case will break.

I will also not look at this book a lot, to avoid breaking the flimsy plastic case
Jun 20, 2014
2014/6/20 10:13:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:
I will also not look at this book a lot, to avoid breaking the flimsy plastic case

Which defeats the purpose beyond 'collecting for completeness'....

HarperCollins needs to get a decent focus group together to talk about their Tolkien offerings. Obviously, what the "hardcore" collector wants differs from what Joe Average might want, but maybe not by all that much. Most people have a similar eye for what they traditionally think of as quality (robust materials, cloth (not paper), leather, gilt, etc). I don't think *anyone* looks at plastic and considers it to be a quality material, because we all know it often decays quickly and as such, is impermanent. And really, you would think the buyers of a large hardback book would be interested in quality. If not, they would surely just get an e-Book or a paperback and save themselves some money?

I genuinely don't think HarperCollins quite gets it. They are fighting the battle to keep print publishing relevant, so the physical book needs to be pretty damn spiffy (whilst not costing the earth) to be worth someone's money. Especially when there are quite possibly already more copies of the book on the planet than English-speaking people.

They almost get it, sometimes. "The Art of The Hobbit" was the last book that I thought they really did a really nice job on. Everything else has been mediocre at best (not necessarily in design or content, but in terms of sub-par implementation). The Deluxe editions are OK (and I'm glad they were produced), but compare the later volumes to the first printings of the first two volumes and there is no comparison.

I guess, like every other product, it is a race to the bottom, and this is just the world we live in.
Jun 21, 2014
2014/6/21 15:16:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
My copy has just arrived. The rear pastedown map is torn. Not Amazon's fault I'm sure. I set up a replacement only 2 minutes after opening the box. Hopefully the second one will be OK, but I will be checking very carefully...
Jun 25, 2014 (edited)
2014/6/25 19:56:32 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Just got the three volume 60th Lord of the Rings and Reader's Companion in a slipcase.

The Lord of The Rings single volume editions are all 6th printings, and the Reader's Companion is now a 1st printing with a copyright date of 2014.

I will try and put up some additional photos of the books later, but this picture shows the 50th box set, 60th box set and the 60th one volume edition.

If anybody else has a copy yet, does your dust-jacket on the Two Towers, appear to be the correct size and fit well on the book?

The second picture shows the problem, my dust jacket is way too big for the book, which results in bending on the dust jacket, which you can see at the top left of the dust jacket in the picture.

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