Tolkien Collector's Guide
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By Stu
Shirrif (Moderator)

Comparison of Deluxe and Standard UT

Nov 10
2020/11/10 0:26:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

My standard UT arrived from Goldsboro yesterday (very well packed and in a mylar protector, so in perfect condition). Given there had been some mention as to whether the paper is "superior" on the deluxe, I can report that it is certainly thicker and a tiny bit smoother, albeit I don't think it is necessarily up to the quality of some earlier deluxes (I'd put it on a par with the recent Sir Gawain, which had mediocre, but not bad paper). The boards are also a little bit thicker.

With regards to the endpapers, the implementation on this copy of the deluxe was a bit rough. I think they should have just used the map ones from the standard edition and accepted some duplication with the lift out (which, whilst I am at it, it are really a push to describe as "posters". I think "laid in plates" would have been a bit more honest).

The cloth on the deluxe is nice and clearly a better quality than the standard edition -- this is a welcome relief from the paper-covered books of recent times.

In terms of image reproduction, I couldn't tell much difference between the two, although the paper is marginally better on the deluxe.

Is it worth more than three times the price? Probably not, but it is still a better effort than we have come used to. At £100, I would not feel it was good value. At £50, which is in-line with the low end of real world prices, I think it is fine.

I'll add a close-up comparison of the paper texture when I get a chance.

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Nov 10
2020/11/10 5:50:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Interesting! I expect the comparison between the standard and collector's edition of next year's Silmarillion to be very similar in the sense to what you've covered here.
Nov 10
2020/11/10 13:46:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks for the comparison Stu. I have been conflicted whether I would buy the deluxe but I think on reflection I am right to stick with the standard. Buying these new illustrated editions already defeats my plans to only buy editions with new primary texts but I am enjoying them very much.

I personally don't like those endpapers from the deluxe but like the standard so I am happy to stick.

What is your favourite of the two? In the hand so to speak.
Nov 10
2020/11/10 18:56:07 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

Thanks for the comparison Stu. I have been conflicted whether I would buy the deluxe but I think on reflection I am right to stick with the standard. Buying these new illustrated editions already defeats my plans to only buy editions with new primary texts but I am enjoying them very much.

I personally don't like those endpapers from the deluxe but like the standard so I am happy to stick.

What is your favourite of the two? In the hand so to speak.

My eyesight is getting very middle-aged, so honestly, there isn't much that difference as a reading copy. Having the maps as endpapers that you can flick to, rather than a plate that you have to set to one side whilst reading probably makes the standard edition more useful. I think having the dustjacket image (a loose plate on the deluxe) would have been better attached on one edge for the same reason. The loose stuff just feels pointlessly loose.
Nov 10
2020/11/10 19:07:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
For me, maps on endpapers have always been troublesome (personally) for two reasons - first, they are much smaller than the fold-out style maps, so harder for my also-middle-aged eyes to read; and secondly, the crease down the middle unavoidably hides critical sections of the map.

I do agree, having them tipped in rather than laid loosely would be nice, but I am spoiled by growing up reading the first edition style hardcovers with the maps that fold out so nicely. Well, on most copies. Some maps folded down, and I even have a few that fold into the book rather than away from it, which makes them mostly useless! That's a manufacturing error not a planned implementation, though.
Nov 11
2020/11/11 1:33:04 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I think the days of large fold-out maps are long-over, sadly. I agree with the issue with the crease -- have been irritated by that many a time, but I still prefer it to a laid-in map that is going to be annoying every single time you pick up the book.
Nov 11
2020/11/11 4:35:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Yeah the crease could be avoided if it came in an actual box - not a slipcase. Sort of those 1999 collector's editions of The Silmarillion and The Hobbit. That way it wouldn't need to be folded.
Nov 11
2020/11/11 12:02:33 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

Thanks for the comparison Stu. I have been conflicted whether I would buy the deluxe but I think on reflection I am right to stick with the standard. Buying these new illustrated editions already defeats my plans to only buy editions with new primary texts but I am enjoying them very much.

I personally don't like those endpapers from the deluxe but like the standard so I am happy to stick.

What is your favourite of the two? In the hand so to speak.

My eyesight is getting very middle-aged, so honestly, there isn't much that difference as a reading copy. Having the maps as endpapers that you can flick to, rather than a plate that you have to set to one side whilst reading probably makes the standard edition more useful. I think having the dustjacket image (a loose plate on the deluxe) would have been better attached on one edge for the same reason. The loose stuff just feels pointlessly loose.

I tend to agree on all points. Especially the middle aged eye sight

I was put off by the loose stuff right away to be honest. They just seem, well as you put it, "pointlessly loose". I picture somebody using the deluxe to read the book and the posters slipping each time the book is used and becoming annoying.
Nov 11
2020/11/11 17:23:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Just guessing here, but I think the "loose" decision was targeted at people who tack these "mini posters" (plates, call them what you will) on their wall. I was vaguely considering getting them framed before I had a copy in hand, but not really after seeing them in person.
Nov 11
2020/11/11 17:37:27 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I miss those poster collections
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