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New David Copperfield "Limited Edition"

Easton Press Collectors

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1acidneutral
Nov 11, 2011, 8:08pm Top

I just noticed this on the website today:

http://www.eastonpressbooks.com/leather/product.asp?code=2801

Interesting idea...but I am guessing this not a DLE? I hope not.

2Wootle
Nov 11, 2011, 8:24pm Top

An Exclusive Leather-bound Deluxe Limited Edition. Recreating the rare original parts from 1849 and 1850 in which the novel first appeared.

3SilentInAWay
Nov 11, 2011, 9:35pm Top

No slipcase is mentioned...grumble, grumble!

4SilentInAWay
Nov 11, 2011, 9:35pm Top

unless that's what's meant by "And much, much more!"

5Svartalf
Nov 11, 2011, 11:52pm Top

hmm interesting. I do have the FL edition of this, and it's pretty good. I wonder who will do the binding....with all the resent hurl-burley over the crap quality...hmm....

6iluvbeckett
Nov 12, 2011, 1:19am Top

Ahh, another DLE!! -or is it? Listed among the other DLEs on the website, but no mention of limitation...yet another example of EP's inscrutable doings! (Waiting with baited breath for more info.)

(P.S. - along with the Three Musketeers, it does make sense for EP to be rolling these out for the holiday season.)

7Quicksilver66
Nov 12, 2011, 3:24am Top

Well, it looks great. I don’t think its a Limited Edition as there is no mention of a limitation number. But with all the crap quality issues I am frankly scared to order this.

8astropi
Nov 13, 2011, 8:38am Top

7: top line says "An Exclusive Leather-bound Deluxe Limited Edition."

Also, for that price it better be a DLE! Since I've never had a problem with the DLEs, I'm not scared about quality issues. I am however scared about financial issues (my ability to afford all of this)!

9tag83
Nov 23, 2011, 12:58pm Top

I think they recently added: "Limited to just 400 hand-numbered copies!"

10astropi
Nov 23, 2011, 3:41pm Top

Vote: Are you considering purchasing the DLE David Copperfield?

Current tally: Yes 1, No 14, Undecided 5
Vote!

By considering, I mean you think there's a "decent" chance you will order it. It's OK if you're waiting to find out more about it, however if you're fairly certain you will not purchase this, vote no of course :)

11ironjaw
Nov 23, 2011, 5:32pm Top

It's funny, astropi, of all the members here I can almost foresee that at some point if ever there is going to be a vote it will definitely come from you :-)

12boddhidharma
Nov 23, 2011, 7:25pm Top

I just ordered it and two others.

13astropi
Nov 23, 2011, 7:43pm Top

11: I admit it, I love the vote option :)

14SilentInAWay
Nov 23, 2011, 8:50pm Top

I'm a little sick of the vote option -- I briefly considered creating a voting thread in this group a year or two ago (at one point, I actually did post an individual vote -- to my later regret), but I soured on voting pretty quickly when it became clear (in other groups) how often people would launch votes to advance their personal agenda. And I can't emphasize enough how quickly other people became annoyed by this.

You see, it is very easy to word a question in such a way that the three responses don't really represent all of the major views (in which case the vote does little more than reinforce a strawman argument). Even the question in message #10 is ambiguous -- pace, astropi, I suspect no rhetorical motive. You may perhaps wish (to avoid sounding pushy, I give you two wiggle words) to rephrase it as something like the following:

Vote: Are you considering purchasing (or have you already ordered) the DLE David Copperfield?

A quibble, yes -- but this sort of imprecision can ultimately lead to vague, meaningless questions like:

Vote: Do you agree that Easton Press books suffer from issues in quality?

Current tally: Yes 3, No 1
(This question was not meant to be answered -- I wonder how long before someone clicks without reading the rest of this message...)

Moreover, it would quickly become insufferable if members of this group started vomiting up votes like:

Vote: Should Easton Press create a DLE of The Hobbit?

Even people who agree with this in principle, may vote against this specific proposition simply because The Hobbit is not at the top of their DLE wishlist. Then they would inevitably post a message explaining why they voted against it and, even worse, launch two or three new votes promoting the items at the top of their own wishlist. Then, in the happy circumstance where a vote manages to pass by a notable margin, the OP would immediately assume that this constitutes some sort of mandate and that EP would be wise to pay close attention to it (even though the size of the sample set may be dizzingly miniscule).

Sorry, astropi -- I'm not unloading on you. I'm just fearing the worst...

15astropi
Nov 23, 2011, 9:01pm Top

14: the vote option is limited, but I still like it. It's a quick, even if not entirely accurate, way to gauge what other people in this group feel about various issues. The best advice I can give is simply do not vote if you are not interested. I don't think most people have any issue with it. As I said, I do like it, and I will continue to use it from time to time :)

16SilentInAWay
Nov 24, 2011, 12:07am Top

15> The best advice I can give is simply do not vote if you are not interested

I might be able to manage that -- just as you might manage to hold your peace when members vent their frustration over EP quality issues.

You see, I find the naive belief that these votes really tell you anything about what "other people in this group feel" about an issue to be both "grating" and "asinine" (to use two adjectives from your own complaints last week). The expression of feelings requires discussion, not mouse-clicks.

However, I'd certainly be willing to stifle my reactions (as you play pollster to your heart's content and pretend that it puts you in touch with the heartbeat of the group) in exchange for your letting other people vent in peace -- even when you're sick of repeatedly hearing opinions that you find incongruous with your own beliefs about EP and their publications.

Quid pro quo.

17koszakedv
Nov 24, 2011, 8:49am Top

15>

Thanks Astropi! I wish our politicians would give us at least half as many chances to vote as you do.

18iluvbeckett
Nov 24, 2011, 1:01pm Top

19astropi
Nov 25, 2011, 4:20pm Top

16: Your argument that these polls "are asinine and naive" and don't tell me "anything" is most definitely reductio ad absurdum. Still, I figure you just wanted to 'get back at me' for my vent about all the EP complaints :)
I could of course point out that 17 people voted in my latest poll, which if you know anything about statistics, you know that 17 while not a large number by any means, is nevertheless statistically significant. In fact, I would say the poll is probably within 20% accuracy. That is, 65% of Librarything EP subscribers, will NOT purchase the D.C. LE. My accuracy is plus/minus 20%. A large error, but still says quite a bit!

Now, on the other hand, if I kept making polls about the D.C. LE I would feel that your post in message 16 had merit, as it stands, I feel you just wanted to 'strike back', which really does not bother me. I'm not one who takes most things personally nor do I usually get angry, however I am one to speak my mind (and clearly you are too :)

20EastonQuality
Nov 25, 2011, 6:32pm Top

What SilentInAWay was pointing out a survey should have no less than 50 (in my opinion) to be fully accurate. 17 people is not always accurate but yes, it does show partial ratio of interest on whom would like a publication. Matter of opinion in a small group. One vote will jump the scale 5% either way..

21SilentInAWay
Edited: Nov 25, 2011, 9:59pm Top

I think you need to reread my message, astropi. I have not claimed that these polls don't tell you anything; I said that these polls don't tell you anything about what "other people in this group feel" about an issue (my italics, your words -- from #15 above).

Regardless of whether or not 17 readers of this thread is a statistically significant number (an issue about which you must have some concern, since you've raised it on your own; I have not anywhere questioned the size of your sample set), your poll only tells you that a certain number of people are not considering buying this book. What can you conclude from this about what members feel about this book?

...that they don't feel that EP DLEs are worth their inflated prices?
...that they are worried about recent issues in production quality?
...that they don't like the look of this particular book?
...that they don't like the idea of EP issuing books that are only quarter-bound in leather?
...that they aren't interested in an edition that contains all the ads from the original parts?
...that they have been spending too much money on EP DLEs and will have to forego this one?
...that they aren't interested in a deluxe edition of a book they already own in an EP edition?
...that they prefer saving the money to spend on a limited edition from another fine press?
...that the book looks very nice, but it's not something that they would buy during the holidays?

Moreover, what do you know about the buying habits of the 17 people who voted?

...that they buy as many DLEs as they can afford
...that they have bought several DLEs
...that they have bought one or two DLEs
...that they have never bought a DLE from EP

One would have to take the (inevitably mixed) buying habits of the constituency into consideration when interpreting the results of any poll of this sort, don't you think?

You see, the binary nature of these polls make them a piss-poor method of gauging public opinion -- if for no other reason, then because the opinion of a group is usually multi-faceted. To even begin to understand how members feel about the David Copperfield DLE, for instance, you would have to follow up your original poll with a series of additional ones (a practice that, if overused, would quickly become tedious). Either that, or encourage people to explain their answers.* And there's the rub. Just a week ago, you were not merely venting about members expressing their opinions in this group, but discouraging them from doing so. That, and not a desire to 'strike back' at you (I didn't even consider myself a target of those remarks), prompted my response here. You can't attempt to gauge the feelings of a group on the one hand and attempt to stifle people from expressing their feelings on the other without being perceived as disingenuous.

For the record, however, if I had to choose between interminable polls and someone telling other people what they can and can't say, I'd choose the former. (And yes, astropi, both of these extremes are strawmen -- I exaggerate to make a point about which tendency I find more objectionable.)

From my experience, the majority of people who repeatedly launch votes on this site do so not in order to understand what others feel about something, but rather to substantiate their own stance on an issue. Because of this, the binary opposition presented in the poll has inevitably been contrived to prove the pollster's point, not to truly assess public opinion. As I said in message #14, astopi, I do not currently suspect a rhetorical ploy of this sort on your part. It would depend upon the type of conclusions one attempts to draw from the results. If, for instance, you were to take the fact that the majority of respondents are not thinking of buying the David Copperfield DLE and interpret it as reflecting something specific about this book, Easton Press, or the members of this group, then I might have to revise my suspicions.

Is it ironic that most avid pollsters on this site are much more interested in promoting their own views than in sussing out the views of others? And is it all that surprising that those of us who are aware of this are instantly suspicious when someone expresses a strong affinity for these polls?

*I suppose another way would to be offer a multiple-choice query of your own devise. Not as elegant as the binary vote, I agree, but (if intelligently designed) more informative. It's no accident that many questions on Gallup polls are multiple choice.

22SilentInAWay
Edited: Nov 25, 2011, 10:10pm Top

Writing the previous posting has made be intensely curious. What are people's reasons for not ordering the David Copperfield DLE? Is the suspected recent decline in production quality the biggest concern? Do people feel that the features are not worth the price? What do you think of this book as a precedent for high-priced EP editions that are only quarter-bound in leather? What other issues turn you off about this particular book? Or is it not this book in particular that has turned you off? Speak up folks.

For the record: I (a confessed EP addict) continue to order these books despite concerns about quality in both design and production. I'm not sure what it would take to shatter my hopes that I might one day receive another book that does for me what that first EP DLE did...

23Quicksilver66
Edited: Nov 26, 2011, 1:08am Top

> 22

Silent

There are a number of reasons why I am not buying the David Copperfield post at the moment. They are primarily -

My concerns regarding quality issues
Over-commitment to other FS and EP LE’s that I want to finish paying for before considering any other instalment plans.

I am still attracted to the book and if there are no quality issues and I like the look of it (it is impossible to judge a book from EP’s hopeless website) then I may order it at a later date.

24iluvbeckett
Nov 26, 2011, 1:22am Top

>22 SilentInAWay:: I would echo Quicksilver's reasons, but also add that EP should consider putting out DLEs that don't necessarily replicate editions of those works already in the long-established literary "canon", but rather be a little more imaginative in their choice of titles (I do realize that EP has to make a profit and therefore needs to appeal to broad public knowlege and interest, e.g. offerings of Dickens and Twain vs. lesser-known authors).

25indigosky
Nov 26, 2011, 2:23am Top

22: I'd love to have the Copperfield, but I won't be ordering. The DLEs are beautiful, but the price holds me back. I feel like a large portion of the price on the DLEs is because it is "limited", and I don't care if I have something that's limited or not. It's the beauty of the book and it's contents that matter to me. It's likely they are limited because that's as many as they can sell, but I still think they're raising the price above what it could be, just to say it's "limited".

However, I did buy the DLE Prince & Pauper. I'm not sure what compelled me to buy it, but I did, and I don't regret it. I love it. I just can't pay that kind of money for a book very often. I think the Song of Hiawatha is just as nice, maybe nicer, and didn't cost nearly as much. Having said that, I suspect that if they come out with a DLE Pride & Prejudice, I will go weak in the knees, and beg them to take my money.

26astropi
Nov 26, 2011, 4:11pm Top

22: at this point, it's mostly price. I might eventually change my mind, but I would like to see pics first and hear what people have to say. Along those lines (price-wise), I feel that it's far easier to find a fine edition of D.C. than it is for a book such as the Prince and the Pauper. Of course, it's not hard to find a copy of any Mark Twain book, but finding a fine press of P&P is not that easy. In fact, the EP DLE P&P is the only fine press edition of that novel that I know of (other than the first print of course). As for a beautiful edition of D.C. you can just purchase one from the FS for under $100 :)

21: I apologize, I actually just glanced at the reply and did not read it. It's a bit long for me right now (tired), but I will say it would be nice if the polls were more varied, but hey at least we even have polls!

27AnnieMod
Dec 9, 2011, 4:28pm Top

So did anyone pick up that one and can share some details?

28SilentInAWay
Edited: Dec 15, 2011, 2:32am Top

Well, folks. I received my copy of David Copperfield today -- and I can honestly say that it is unlike any Easton Press book that I have ever seen.

First of all, the cover. The marbled paper that is used for both the boards and the endpapers is an unusual, deep brownish red (a color that, although it reminds me of dried blood, is nevertheless very attractive -- particularly when juxtaposed with the dark green leather). The leather, incidentally, is that super-smooth, fine-grained variety that EP uses for some of its covers.

One thing that may bother some collectors is the way in which the leather is layered on top of the paper-covered boards. We've seen this before...on the cover of the DLE Fahrenheit 451, where the black leather that covers the spine is layered on top of the red leather boards. Now, unlike the F451 DLE, the David Copperfield DLE does not come with a slipcase, so the leather will not be in danger of being damaged each time it is slipped back into place (although, I suppose, if one is not careful, it may catch on neighboring books if it is too quickly replaced on a shelf). At any rate, I suspect that there will be mixed opinions about the sharp edges of the leather where it has been laid over the paper.

Now, this is a THICK book (for those of you who own the EP edition of the complete stories of O. Henry, this is thick in the way that the O. Henry is thick). Because of this, the text block may be susceptible to sagging -- something that some collectors may want to consider before dishing out nearly $350 for this edition.

I started out this post saying that this book is unlike any other that I have ever seen from Easton Press. This really becomes evident when you open it up. There is no mistaking that this edition recreates the original serially-published parts. The original front and back covers of each part have been reproduced on deep blue paper -- so each part is very clearly demarcated from those that precede and follow it. At the beginning of each part is the monthly "Copperfield Advertiser" -- an advertising section of up to 20 pages that appeared at the beginning of each original installment. Immediately following these advertisements are two full-page illustrations printed on paper that is slightly whiter and slightly thicker than that used for the rest of the book. Following these illustrations are the chapters that were included in that month's serial installment. There are occasional departures from this pattern -- such as the "New Weekly Illustrated Periodical for Ladies" (printed on green paper) that appears between the ads and the illustrations in installment VIII -- or the 20-page catalog of new publications at the end of installment IX, including a full-page advertisement for the serial publication of Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer's Leila; or, The Seige of Granada (printed with red ink on pure white paper). Finally, there are slips of colored paper (green, yellow, white) -- usually about a half a page in size -- that appear randomly throughout the book; these give the impression that small flyers, notices and brochures have been inserted into the text (although the slips are actually bound along with the full-sized pages).

I am really looking forward to the experience of reading this unusual edition, with all of the "distractions" from the original parts -- although I may have to first visit my optometrist and get new glasses, 'cuz the print size (of the chapters in particular) is pretty small.

Unfortunately, it will have to remain to someone braver than I to photograph this little monster -- I do not yet dare open it wide enough to get a very good snapshop. Sorry.

Although this is not the first time that EP has published a novel in its original parts, I am nevertheless hopeful that this beautiful and unique volume is the start of a whole new series of publications from EP.

29astropi
Dec 15, 2011, 3:21am Top

28: I think you need to gather your courage and take some photos! Unless of course you don't plan on ever opening up the book! And at any rate, you can give us pics of the covers, and first few pages... so no excuses :)

30Quicksilver66
Dec 15, 2011, 5:44am Top

> 28

Thank you for your account, Silent. It sounds very intriguing. I have not yet made up my mind to buy it, but neither have I written it of. Astropi is right - some cover pictures would be great.

31hamletscamaro
Edited: Dec 15, 2011, 3:56pm Top

I'm also on the fence on this one; so someone must post some pictures. Those of us who are undecided need some closure.

32AnnieMod
Dec 15, 2011, 4:03pm Top

>28 SilentInAWay: Thanks...
There went my "I am not buying any more expensive books this year" idea.

33EastonQuality
Edited: Dec 15, 2011, 6:17pm Top

A current promotion is offering one of three books on an email ad for free with an order of at least $100 by the 16th tomorrow.

The three offered: The Oxford History of Western Art; America: An Illustrated History; Dateline.

I ordered a limited edition of a Mark Twain printing offered earlier this year, the recent photos on Librarything convinced me to do so.

34iluvbeckett
Dec 15, 2011, 10:17pm Top

>32 AnnieMod:: Um, ditto here. Kind of makes me wish EP would dial back on the frequency of its DLE releases (say, put out one title in the late spring and one for the "holidays"), it'd be a lot easier on the bank account....of course, a vigorous exercise of will power would prevent further acquisitions (nah, no fun there!)

35ironjaw
Dec 16, 2011, 5:49am Top

I'm not buying this one. It's not appealing unfortunately, it's more of a facsimile of the original magazine publication and while some might find that interesting, I don't. It just seems lately that EP are taking many out of print, out of copyright publications and jamming them together.

It's interesting sometimes as with Lincoln. I saw the original The Century Company publication in person and I believe the EP Lincoln is what I would call a first class publication I will definitely get when the money is there.

36AnnieMod
Dec 23, 2011, 11:28pm Top

Just got mine - and I love it. y only complaint is that they could have split it in 2 volumes (or 3) but oh well.

>28 SilentInAWay:

It does not feel as bulky as the O'Henry though - maybe it is because it is a smaller book or something like that...

37astropi
Dec 24, 2011, 3:33pm Top

36: pics please!! :)

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