I received several books for Christmas and I’ve been impressed with them. Not only are they good books in the sense that they are good to read, but they are nice objects in and of themselves.

There’s something about a nice book that makes the reading experience more enjoyable. Being a hardback isn’t enough. Most hardbacks out there are really nothing more than a paperback binding with stiff covers. A good hardback will be stitched together. Having a good spine that will withstand repeated readings is part of being a good book. Of course the legibility of the type, the feel of the paper, and the tactile feel of the thing helps too.

I got my Bastiat collection yesterday (available here online. WARNING, this is a large file…). It has a textbook kind of feel to the cover (which isn’t a bad thing) and a they did a great job on the printing and the paper they used. Be prepared for extensive quotes from this in posts to come…


I also got “The New Seeds of Contemplation” by Thomas Merton. This book is precious! It is just the right size, somewhat smaller than the typical hardback book, cloth bound, and looks great on the inside. It even has a ribbon stitched into the binding (like a Bible) to mark your page. It turns out that Shambhala has put out 4 of Merton’s books like this and I haven’t read any of them! I can see some more of them in my future…


On a lighter note…


I also got some more of the Peanuts collection by Fanatgraphics. Wow, what a great job they’re doing. There have been various Peanuts collections done before, but they are publishing ALL of the strips Charles Schultz did in order. For those of us that love Peanuts, it is a dream come true. The books are wonderful as well and will withstand repeated readings with ease. It was a great Christmas for books! I’m going to hold onto these for a long time…

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