Books as Physical Objects: Large Print

really large printI have loads of opinions about they physicality of books: the weight, the smell, the way they look on a shelf, the physical design.

One issue with the last is the sheer ugliness of large print books.

I’m slowly collecting hardcover versions of Chandler. I only have 4 of his 8 books in hardcover. The others are either paperback (The Little Sister) or in an omnibus with, sadly, missing pages (The High Window, The Lady in the Lake, and Farewell, My Lovely.)

Better World Books had a copy of that last (it was made into a great movie with the equally goofy title Murder, My Sweet but introduced us to Dick Powell as tough guy; until then he’d always been a fresh-faced song-and-dance kid.) For $7 I could add a “very good” condition copy to my library.

I knew when I opened the package something was wrong. The cover just had that look . . . and when I opened it, there was that enormous font with microscopic margins.

There will come a day when, even with reading glasses, I may need large print. (I wear reading glasses for print even now, but my eyesight is otherwise good enough that although I wear glasses to for driving, they’re not legally required.) In the meantime, I can’t stand the sight of it.

Books should be beautiful while they’re being functional. Things which are perfectly suited for their use are often beautiful because of it, not in spite of it.

For now, though, large print does me no good.

Good thing Better World Books has a great return policy. Now I’m off to hunt up another copy.

3 thoughts on “Books as Physical Objects: Large Print

  1. Discovering all kinds of things that I ‘hadn’t really thought about before’, these days – “large print books are ugly” is apparently one of them! (I completely agree, BTW).

    1. I try to make my discoveries more positive than otherwise, but sometimes, recognizing what I don’t like is still a good thing, eh?

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