Books and the deckle edge

Discussion in 'General Books' started by Overread, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Recently I took an order of a book which I had to return as the book had what I considered to be, a defect on the printing. However after being sent a replacement in the same condition I had a chat with the customer service people and discovered that its not a defect, in fact its a delibrate choice and a higher grade/class of printing service.

    The book was deckle edged (also called rough cut) and its a process that re-creates the one time old style of printing that used to be the normal method as a result of the nature of how books were printed. Wiki has a page on it that goes into a bit more detail (linked below).

    So having never come across this method of printing before, barring maybe one or two older books that I've seen with it, I wonder if any here have any deckle edge books of their own and what your views are on it as a design choice when printing.

    Examples of deckle edge
    [​IMG]

    http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u275/overmind_2000/IMG_2065_zps95c54829.jpg
    http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u275/overmind_2000/IMG_2063_zpsa0860bf3.jpg

    more info
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deckle



    My personal view is that its an odd choice to use an older style of appearance on the papers edge, whilst keeping all other parts (hard back design, dust cover, binding, ink, print style, format) totally modern. I think I'd be happier if it were a full works older style appearance on the book instead of just focusing on one small part that on its own can appear; next to modern printing methods, to be more a fault than deliberate choice.
     
  2. jake1964

    jake1964 Old enough to be your dad

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    I have one or two. I can't remember which titles and I'm not at home to look.

    I think it looks pretty cool if it is on a leather bound book with a hubbed spine.

    As you said, that one feature on an otherwise completely modern style book seems out of place.
     
  3. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I have a few books like that too. Honestly, I never thought it was a manufacturing defect the first time I saw a book like that.
    From a reader's perspective, my feelings on it are rather neutral. If I'm buying a print book solely for the story I don't really care one way or another if the pages are evenly cut or deckle edged. If I was buying a keepsake book mostly for its appearance I think I'd have to agree with Jake: it would have to look "traditional". A deckle edge would look out of place on a modern book.
    A thought occurs to me as I'm writing this post (that's shocking, I know :D): An old-school book publisher who had mastered the art of cutting all pages exactly the same (without automation) would probably have been able to produce a very valuable book back in the day. Now we mess up the cut edges of the pages for the sake of making things look "traditional" and thus more "valuable". Is it me, or is this kind of ironic? :p
     
  4. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    I have a couple too, one of them being book 4 of Artemis Fowl.

    My dad told me that they're quite a thing in the US. The reason it's like that is that they just don't trim the edges; it's simply easier to make that way.

    I don't like it, as I find it slightly annoying to turn pages, and also find that it doesn't look good with modern covers (also mentioned by others).
     
  5. Sirius Orion

    Sirius Orion New Member

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    I personally have "old world" tastes, meaning I am a lover/connoisseur of the printed book, period. I have a sense of nostalgia and magic about the printed book, no matter its design. I am not fond of any of the electronic or digital formats that books so popularly come in these days. I feel something has been lost in the connection between reader and author with all of this digital intervention into the literary realm.

    If it were up to me, books would be available only in print, regardless to 'deckled edge' or not---in my opinion, if it is in print form, it is already beautiful...books are magical to me!
     
  6. Greybeard

    Greybeard Geezer

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    I grew up with enough ols books around the house that I didn't think anything of the deckle edge when I found books like that. Now they're the mark of a snazzy collector's edition, but for a time they were the mark of a cheap edition. Times change.

    I think the only books I've ever had with the deckle edge are reprints of old titles, so they look perfectly normal there. The only thing I dont' like about it is that it makes it hard to flip through and find a particular passage or illustration.
     
  7. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    We have some early 19-th century books from my great-great-great-grandmother or something like that (Brontë, Austen, Black Beauty, etc.) and I don't remember them having a deckle edge.
    In fact, looked at some very old copies of “The Children's Encyclopaedia” and those too have a mostly smooth edge.

    I think that what is being used nowadays is much more pronounced than the original deckle edge, which looks and feels mostly smooth.

    @Sirius Onion: I love having books around the place and things and love just looking at them, holding them, etc. but I have a Kindle and I'm very pleased with it, although any Tolkien book (and others) I would not buy on it. It's so useful though and I've got used to it, so I'm perfectly happy with my Kindle (although if I did not have access to physical books, then I would probably go crazy).
     
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