15 September 2011

Paper, work

When did unfinished page edges (like this illustration, but on a recently published book) come into vogue, and who brought them there? I find them a little irritating for reasons I can't put my finger on but am getting used to their use, unlike the first time I was exposed to them (I believe on my Robert Fagles translation of THE ODYSSEY in high school?) when I found them messy.

I get what publishers are trying to evoke, but I guess I don't understand why. Seems like a frill. I was led down this path of inquiry while reading 2 books, 1 with the rough-cut pages, the other in which a character is described cutting the pages of a new George Eliot novel in such detail that it made me wish I had (slash would ever have) that experience, though the idea of needing a knife to carry along with me to read is a bit of overkill. What would I do with it on the subway?


8yearoldsdude said...

If you subscribe to the theory that digital books will occupy the dominant utilitarian niche and force paper books to migrate towards luxury/art items, then unfinished pages makes sense.

but yeah, annoying and precious.

Peter Knox said...

Called "deckled" pages (or uneven). More expensive, but as the other commentator noted, closer to a unique piece of art supposedly giving value to a physical copy.

Elizabeth said...

I don't like them because it makes it more difficult to page through to find the passage I'm looking for (unless it just happens to be right behind the local maximum).