Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Bookish stuff, good and bad

There's something that has annoyed me on and off for a while now but not to the extent that I've blogged about it. But I've been tipped over the edge... The other day, I purchased the new paperback of the last Rebus novel, Exit Music. So far so good. But when I unwrapped it from its cardboard sheath (sorry, Mostly Books, the purchase got me up to free delivery on Am*zon...) it popped out as a large format paperback. Number 17 in the series, the last one in the series that is, and the publishers Orion have to take the bleeding decision to re-format and repackage it so that it sits on the shelf next to the 16 previous, *small* format paperbacks (I think they're known as mass market, or A format in the 'trade', dredging up memories of my bookselling years at Blackwell's) in the series and looks downright stupid. I could just about put up with it when they decided to re-design the jackets to be more 'funky' looking with different typefaces, Ian Rankin's name much larger than before on the spine etc etc. At least they were all the same size on the shelf. But why change the size NOW?

The CJ Sansom series of Matthew Shardlake Tudor mysteries was the same - books 1 and 2 small format, then a size upgrade for number 3, Sovereign. But that doesn't seem quite as annoying as 16 small books and 1 big one. I even avoided buying the hardback, desperate as I was to read of Rebus's last days in the force, to wait for the paperback edition so I could complete the set.

Don't get me wrong, I don't shelve my books according to size or colour (most of the time anyway, though I do keep certain publishers together, mainly because the spines look groovy in a row - RIP Harvill Panthers). But these Rebus novels are sat on the top shelf, which is quite close to the ceiling anyway, so there ain't an awful lot of room height-wise for big books. Grr.

Better book news though in that I just finished The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and absolutely LOVED it. I have read some differing opinions/reviews of how good it actually is, and there's even a Wikipedia entry devoted to it but I have to say after I'd got my head round the initial concept I was hooked. I finished it on Sunday night in bed, and while Ali had already gone to the land of nod I was silently weeping rivers through the last 20 pages or so, something a book hasn't moved me to in a good while. Apparently there's a film being made of it, due out at the end of the year, which I'm not too sure I'll make the effort to see - although having said that I did really enjoy Atonement on the big screen, probably because it has been some time since I read the book. It's a wonderful feeling when you enjoy a book that much - and of course as I'm now on the hotly anticipated Exit Music the enjoyment keeps on coming. Fabulous!

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