The Library Edition

Ok, ok… people keep asking me about this.

Some years ago, Paul and I were talking about other edition formats for Jack’s works. Our imagination was expanded somewhat by the ready availability of some Talisker and some Glenfiddic. We came up with a wild idea, and found out that people wanted not just details, but delivery dates!

We thought about what I now call the “Library Edition”. This would be a set of three (2? 4?) folio volumes. Strictly limited edition. Size, about 18 – 20 ” by 24 – 30 “. Maybe bigger. Paper: to die for. But the covers! In the style of the carved screens of Emphyrio, Paul Rhoads would carve unique panels for each of the volumes.

The volumes would include Jack’s most important works, but not all. “Most important” means that Paul and I decide over Old Tanglefoot, or Blue Ruin. Font size, 14 pt or perhaps a bit larger. Font: perhaps Amiante. Internal illustrations: copperplate engravings, also by Paul.

Because so much of the visual work will be Paul’s please “Google” for his web site and look at his artwork. My wife and I love it: we have tens of thousands of dollars of it. Well, maybe just a bit over $10,000, so perhaps I am not the best judge of his work. You can find examples of his engravings all over the Integral Archive site:

I’m not sure where to direct you to see the font Amiante, except in the original VIE. Perhaps I can get a good scan up here on the blog.

Now, what would this cost? We are starting to work that. There are mundane considerations: word counts, page counts, binding, and the the engravings and carvings. These are works of art, you aren’t going to read them in bed.

The cost per volume would have to be on the order of $7500 – $10000, making a set of three something like a nice car. But there’s a difference. The car will last about 10 years. These books will last 500.

I am also considering building the set so that the first volume is a standalone: so that people who would like to honor both Jack and themselves could do so for the cost of one volume, rather than the cost of three. Much is speculation at this point. However, Paul has stopped screaming, and is now considering what sort of wood, and what sort of carvings.

Needless to say, a volume or volumes of this calibre (at this price range, I use the odd spelling) would be delivered via FedEx Special Services, crated, and previously inspected minutely by Paul or me. Shipping would be extra, since FexEx Specials vary so much, but to be honest, shipping isn’t going to be a show-stopper. (A painting, about 30″ by 36″, in wooden crate, from Chinon, France to my home in NJ cost $800. They handled it as though it were alive…

I am not taking orders at this time. However, if you would like to be on the “let me know” list, just send me e-mail with “Library Edition” in the subject. I will also consider suggestions and requests, but I may or may not be able to engage you in a discussion on the topics (until money hits the barrel head ;-).

About Shipping

Some of you have asked me if it would be cheaper to send the books from the printer in Milan directly to points in the EU. Here’s the answer for Holland: E80. I had checked this out before, and got a similar result. The printer does not care to entrust your books to the Italian postal service, so she uses various private carriers. Hence the cost.

As a result, it is cheaper to send all of the books to the US (I absorb that cost) and then out of the US to where ever: $180 from the US to the EU for all six volumes.

Strange as it sounds, it’s cheaper from Milan to Holland when the books visit Virginia…

The Horrors of Exchange Rates


I’ve just sent off a bunch of money to my printer. The exchange rate between the USD and the Euro is about as bad as it has ever been, USD 1.42 per Euro. I wring my hands, and think: if only the exchange rate were kinder, I could buy cheese for my children so that their legs could grow straight…

Well, no matter. If necessary, I will fashion wooden braces for them if their bones become too brittle.

Oh. Yes. I had wanted to tell you something.

The exchange rate is my problem, not yours. I have brought the issue up because if you have been contemplating a second set, or contemplating your first set, or know anyone on the fence, now is a good time to buy a set, before I raise the price. I had always planned to add a couple hundred dollars to the price as soon as all of the subscriptions were fulfilled: those of you who waited, paid money, waited some more, and generally trusted some guy on the Internet have purchased these books for the absolute minimum. Once my printer tells me that 5 & 6 are done, the price of a set will become something like (not certain yet, but…) $1495. If the exchange rate doesn’t behave, it could be higher.

All this means to you, as a subscriber or someone watching this list, is that you may order another set or even your first set at $1295 for a month or so yet, or if you place a small deposit for a set to be purchased by 31 December 2010, I’ll keep the original price for you.

Just a heads up…