Sunday, May 1, 2011

JR Newsletter: 1 May 2011 (34)

Just one contribution this week:

Please respond to this query. Any information will be appreciated:
I recently acquired a copy of The Ultimate Guide to Attributing Bust Half Dollars, in the quarter-leather binding, one of 40 such copies. It is a wonderful book and an indispensable reference.
But the binding is horribly weak, and has broken. I do use this copy for reference. But I am extremely careful with it. To qualify "careful:"
I have worked in various rare book libraries, and observe all standard handling practices. I use a book cradle; never leave an open book flat. I even open fresh bindings the way I was taught by my first mentor. So, I know that I didn't do any thing personally to hurt this book.
After using it only a few times, I found that the front endpaper had completely split away between the text block and front board. This, quite unfortunately, allowed me the opportunity to examine the binding from the inside.
Now, the binder made this edition look like it were smith sewn (one of many long-used ways to tie a book's text block, with cords, and affix it to the boards. The raised bands one finds on a book's spine cover those cords. This copy of The Ultimate Guide also has the sort of cloth tape, at its head and tail, that binders use, when they create this type of quality and durable  binding. And such bindings can last for centuries, even with rigorous use.
But I was gentle. And my very-expensive, and much-loved, book has fallen apart.
Money Tree Press produced the book. I have sent them emails. But those emails have bounced back.
Has any one else had problems with these bindings? Can any one else tell me how to reach the binder? This, unfortunately, makes me very leery about other numismatic "deluxe" editions.
I don't believe that books should be made simply to look pretty on a shelf. Neither do I think I should have to pay to get this one fixed, nor "pay the price" for a book that is now only in fair condition--even though the rest of the book is pristine in every way.
So, please offer any advice.  My email address is rockbook2 (at)
Ray Hale