Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New biography of Ulysses Grant

I actually ponied up $24--a record for me-- for this new book by Ron Chernow and temporarily sidelined John Quincy Adams.  Grant is even heavier than JQ was, but he's always been a favorite of mine.  The book leaves a lot to be desired, physically.  The typeface is small and fiddly, and has a grey texture, not quite black but off-black.  The margins are too small, and so is the type.

  Whatever happened to books being published in two volumes?

 Let me give a shout out for the Library of America editions.   They are printed on thin but very good paper, with legible type, and are a pleasure to read.  I read Grant's autobiography in a Llbrary of America edition and did not get a hernia from lifting it.

  About that $24:  every once in a while I buy something at the local Barnes and Noble, in the desperate hope that they will not go out of business.  Perhaps if they tried publishing books in two or three volumes?  On nice preservation paper, with legible type?

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