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50th vs 60th anniversary boxed set

Jun 28
2021/6/28 3:52:16 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Hi all,

Hope you're all well! Been lurking for a while without making a post, but here goes :)

I've recently purchased the 60th anniversary boxed set edition, and I've heard that this edition is lower in quality than the 50th anniversary boxed set.

I am aware that this newer edition has been printed in China, but what does this actually mean in terms of quality? E.g. are the pages made of lower quality paper? Are the books more likely to fall apart?

Thank you all in advance, and sorry if this has been discussed before :)
Jun 28
2021/6/28 4:40:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
It really isn't a question of 50th versus 60th, it is a question of first print vs reprint.

First prints of the 50th and 60th were both European. Reprints were made in China.

The biggest noticeable difference between 50th and 60th is that all prints of the 50th have gold foil stamping for the titles and harperCollins logo, whereas all prints of the 60th have orange ink.

From what I have seen of the reprints (from images not being in the hand), they are variable in quality. I doubt any of them are going to fall apart with normal use. The one thing I do notice on a lot of the reprints is flat square spines, which cosmetically doesn't look great, especially when the jacket is pulled tight.

TL;DR If you have already bought them, I wouldn't get too worried. Look at the book and decide for yourself if you are happy with it. My personal preference is the first print of the 50th, and that is what I have on my shelf. My first prints of the 60th (which aren't marked as "I", as the numbers just ran on from the 50th) are stuck in a box just by virtue of not looking as nice.
Jun 28
2021/6/28 9:39:47 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Just to add to Stu’s answer, I’ve noticed that the dust wrappers on the 50th set books, at least the earlier ones, are slightly thicker and have a ‘waxier’ feel to them on their insides.
I don’t have the 60th box but I do have some separate 10th impression copies. Their jackets have a more papery feel to them, but I don’t think they’ll rip because of it.
Jun 28
2021/6/28 20:41:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I have a related question: I’ve just bought the 60th anniversary edition boxed set (it was on sale on Prime Day here). When I compare the Reader‘s Companion therein to a copy I’ve bought before individually, the pages of the new copy (and hence the whole book) are a lot thinner (see picture; left: boxed set). Does this also have to do with when and where the books were printed (left: 9th, Italy; right: 8th, China) or is this some design/production choice with respect to the boxed set? I didn’t expect there to be such a difference.

2164_60da31b9c1d7e.jpeg 745X1522 px
Jun 28
2021/6/28 20:47:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

NoUse wrote:

I have a related question: I’ve just bought the 60th anniversary edition boxed set (it was on sale on Prime Day here). When I compare the Reader‘s Companion therein to a copy I’ve bought before individually, the pages of the new copy (and hence the whole book) are a lot thinner (see picture; left: boxed set). Does this also have to do with when and where the books were printed (left: 9th, Italy; right: 8th, China) or is this some design/production choice with respect to the boxed set? I didn’t expect there to be such a difference.

Yes, I've seen the huge thickness difference in a few eBay pictures. It isn't a boxed set thing, just a "printed in China" thing.
Jun 29
2021/6/29 15:52:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Correct me if I'm wrong but thicker pages are generally a more expensive/higher quality than thinner. Would that, therefore, make this an example of the China-based print being of higher quality than the Italy-based offering?
Jun 29
2021/6/29 18:00:42 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I certainly prefer the thicker pages in this case. I’m not happy with the overall quality of the boxed set I got (the box doesn’t make a particularly stable impression either, for example), so I decided to return it.
Jun 29
2021/6/29 19:05:51 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I see.

May I ask: Was your disappointment with the box set due to damage? If something to do with the design, would you mind elaborating on the shortcomings? I have been mulling over this set for some time but have read brief comments mentioning quality issues and would dearly like to understand those issues better.
Jun 29
2021/6/29 21:10:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

thomas spoke wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but thicker pages are generally a more expensive/higher quality than thinner. Would that, therefore, make this an example of the China-based print being of higher quality than the Italy-based offering?

No, thicker paper can be higher or lower quality. Toilet paper is thick, but you wouldn't want to print books on it. An extreme example, of course -- but a good example would be the facsimile Hobbit, which has thicker paper than the real thing, but that paper is actually quite lightweight and low quality.
Jun 29
2021/6/29 23:04:44 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I stand corrected. Cheers.
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