– Turning good stories into classics … physically, at least
There’s something intrinsically beautiful and magical about a Deluxe edition book being slowly extracted from its matching slipcase – none the least when that book has Tolkien’s motif embossed in gold at the back and the appropriate design on the front.
The smell of newly printed pages that welcome you to the literary world or the texture and feel of the covers of the book containing within them a hidden gem.
That, my fellow readers, is what I experience each time I open one of these special books. The feeling seems to grow on you the more you open them and less willingly do you feel like closing and putting them back in place.
Personally, I don’t use these books for practical reading (I leave that in the hands of my trusty paperbacks), except maybe when I need to reference something in particular that can only be found in the Deluxe editions.
Otherwise, they’re mainly for display and collecting purposes – the aim being, that you’re owning a specially crafted book that contains the beautiful story of ‘The Silmarillion’ or the fresh and flowing pages of ‘The Hobbit’ … to mention a few.
By being eye-catchy, refined and sophisticated in themselves, such books give the appropriateness and approval to represent such classical stories.
As I’ve stated in my initial post (‘My Tolkien Collection: An Introduction’), these are the deluxe edition books I have acquired:
– The J.R.R. Tolkien Collection (Slipcase Hardback Deluxe Edition)
– The Hobbit
– The Lord of the Rings
– The Silmarillion
– The Children of Húrin
– The Children of Húrin (Super Deluxe Limited Edition – No. 455 of 500)
– Tales from the Perilous Realm (Deluxe edition)
– The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (Deluxe edition)
Amongst these, I’m really fond of ‘The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun’ – probably because it was my first ever deluxe edition book. Other than that, both the box set collection and the rest are gorgeously made.
[Note: I was tempted to place the Super Deluxe Edition of ‘The Children of Húrin’ as a separate post under ‘Rare Books’, but considering the fact that it’s still available for sale and is of a limited nature in itself, I felt it does not rightly qualify as a rare book]
What’s even more fantastic, is that HarperCollins releases these books in a standard style – thus allowing you to set-up your editions (be they Middle-earth related or not), next to each other …
… making one very distinct and singular bookshelf!
So what’s missing here? The essential Deluxe Edition of ‘Unfinished Tales’, of course. Thankfully, HarperCollins has rectified that and will be issuing such an edition of the book this coming December (no doubt in preparation for the release of ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ …)
(Next in line is a short discussion on Hardbacks)
- My Tolkien Collection: An Introduction (atolkienistperspective.wordpress.com)