Normally I post on the quality of the topic of a book, not the quality of the book itself. Sometimes I mention these factors, but usually only a line or two within a rant about how impressed I am with the content.
I’ve been reading Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham. It was published by Random House in 2012. And it’s beautiful. Not the biography itself, it’s pretty good, don’t get me wrong – but the book – the book is beautiful.
I didn’t notice it right away. It took me holding it for hours to truly appreciate the matte finish of the dust jacket. There is a lot of feeling missing from my fingertips from years of me abusing my own hands with activity; but during rare moments of my hand brushing against the jacket just so or turning the page and letting the weight fall in my left hand just right, I felt with pleasure the smooth grit of a not entirely slick dust jacket. I love that feeling.
The binding is nothing special. I’d like to report that it is sewn AND glued just how I like it, but it’s just glued in sections. But the classic photograph and illustration pages in the center found in almost all history books and biographies, they are lovely. They aren’t the typical glossy finish ones that you find in most biographies. They are not the twelve year old girls’ room poster quality. Instead, they appear to be printed on acid free paper. The ink quality is something to behold while the pages maintain a slightly matte appearance as well. It’s pretty gorgeous. It is the book I’ll use to show my daughter pictures of many of the men who laid the framework for our independence. It’s where we will look to see a depiction of the surrender of Cornwallis.
I read a lot and I acquire a lot of books, but not everything I acquire are good quality copies. I am notorious for reading coffee stained, marked up, dog eared paged crap that someone else was throwing in a recycle bin. It does not phase me to peruse something that smells like my grandmother’s attic (or your grandmother’s attic, or my dog’s grandmother’s attic…). So it was a little different and refreshing to read something so…. nice. And it sounds silly to be saying this to such a large publishing house, but: Good Job, Random House.
We’ll be discussing the actual content of the book tonight at the Half Price Books Humble book club meeting at 7:30 pm. Come join us.