I came home to a pleasant surprise Monday evening (January 7, 2012), delivered by my friendly postal employee. I received my signed first edition hardcover copy of A Memory of Light one day early, the day before the official release:
As you can see in the photo above, Brandon aptly personalized my copy with the phrase ‘The End.’ I started reading this series twenty-three years ago and I nearly gave up hope, when Robert Jordan passed away, of ever reading the long prophesied Last Battle. Soon, all my questions will be answered (or so I hope).
I stayed up two hours past my normal bed time to read the prologue and the first six chapters. I’ve read another six chapters since then and will read a couple more before falling asleep tonight. I predict that by Sunday, I’ll be posting a review here of my thoughts on the longest, sprawliest epic fantasy series I’ve ever read and whether A Memory of Light was worth the wait (and the hype).
No, I’m not talking about the content composed by the author (in this case Robert V.S. Redick) but rather the publisher or the publishing industry (in this case Del Rey Ballantine Books an imprint of Random House) lack of polish or finish on this first edition hardcover of The Ruling Sea:
Do you see the unevenness of the pages? This is one of the final steps when you bind a book. You trim the edges of the book signatures so they are flush and even (makes for easy fanning of a book with your thumb). I’ve even done this process myself (with my dad’s help as he had the razor sharp chisel and vice in his basement workshop). I’m appalled when I see a first edition hardcover in this state.
Is this becoming more common from the publishing industry? When I see a book like the one displayed above, I think it’s a reprint by a low-budget or discount publisher, not a first edition! Sheesh!
Perhaps I’m just overly sensitive. I would have hesitated to buy this book for this very reason. As it stands, I’m only borrowing it from a library, but still. Come on!