Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Real Book Blog

This is an initial test, of the template and posting for "The Real Book Blog". It also serves as a description of purpose, namely, that it be about books bound in actual covers and, to be more pedantic, books that are not cheap "replications" of old titles gone public domain and seized by too many people off to sell to anyone ignorant of that (and similar) resources, whether in the form of electronic files or as print-on-demand or even "university collection" paperbacks.

They don't have to be fine bound leather volumes with luxuriously thick ribbons, or monumentally important to the history of culture and civilization, society and law, or like effete elitist themery (though perhaps, for some, it would be preferred). They just have to be real books, between two covers, with some kind of paper-like cream-filling.

The idea arose in researching "Colonial Churches [:] A Series of Sketches of Churches in the Original Colony of Virginia.... With Pictures of Each Church[.] Each Sketch by an Especially Qualified Writer......", published 1907 in Richmond, VA. by the Southern Churchman Co..
It is a book I actually own and I was curious as to current value and demand. Apparently the market is simply flooded with many of the cheap "replications" or "reproductions" or "duplicates", oh my! (One can bet upon that once one publisher produces an electronic edition of a work, a billion others simply copy and change the cover artwork.)

Even Abebooks, a market for old books, features [only] these. I don't find this a good thing, at least not the cheap reproductions of books with perhaps no care for the quality. It was like the cheap American Standard Version of the Bible I received as a review copy a long while ago: printed from files online and missing a section. (made up for with a loose "insert" page) What a nightmare! (The guy was actually hoping to sell the perhaps ten thousand he had printed in China with little editing or oversight--and none of the footnotes intact.)

To all you fans of old books with stories and wear, which survived the decades (or centuries!) and passed down from person to person, from subject-matter dabbler to dabbler, who understand the importance of slices of paper sandwiched between covers for the endurance of knowledge in a civilization of virtual transience, decay, fast-answers, and mutability...

This is for you.