Deckle edging and your views

Overread

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#1
After a bit of back and forth with returning and then chatting with customer support I recently (today) learned of deckle edging (or rough cutting) with books. This is where the face of the pages is rendered with a rough cut and uneven line, instead of smoothed over.

I was quite surprised to further learn that its a higher grade of printing as a result of its appearance alluding to the older days of printing where the nature of printing resulted in this effect being the normal.



What I find most odd is that the effect when shown today alongside normal binding, printing, type font, formatting, etc.... on a modern book just looks odd. IT seems strange to only have one part mimic the old style and everything else to be modern.

However I'd be interested in your views on the deckle edge and on if you like or dislike it and what books you have with it.



For those who don't know about it Wiki has a good article here: Deckle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And here are some photos of deckle edged books:
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u275/overmind_2000/IMG_2065_zps95c54829.jpg
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u275/overmind_2000/IMG_2064_zps28c0a881.jpg
http://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u275/overmind_2000/IMG_2063_zpsa0860bf3.jpg
 

HareBrain

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#2
Don't have any books with it. When I've seen it, the effect reminds me of posh watercolour paper, where the sheets often have unfinished edges. It also reminds me of bread, where loaves made with "rustic" flour etc are somehow much more expensive than those made with white, which have had more processing done.

I quite like it, but part of me thinks it's pretentious.
 

Bick

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#3
I have one book with this kind of edging: The One Hundred Classic Poems, Ed. William Harmon (Columbia Press). I think with a book like this its okay, I quite like it, but I wouldn't want it for my SF mmpb books.
 

Ursa major

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#5
The first volume of a three-volume biography I own has deckle edging.

The edging isn't very convenient for flicking through the pages, which may not be a big issue with fiction, but can be irritating in non-fiction, where one is more likely to be dipping in and out.
 

Sander

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#6
The first volume of a three-volume biography I own has deckle edging.

The edging isn't very convenient for flicking through the pages, which may not be a big issue with fiction, but can be irritating in non-fiction, where one is more likely to be dipping in and out.
I'm with Ursa major here. I've only found it to be inconvenient and not worth the slight upgrade in aesthetics, which would usually be invisible in my bookcase anyway.
 

Mouse

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#7
Don't like it, wouldn't choose it. Don't see the point in it. I flick through books a lot when I'm reading - checking how much further til the end of the chapter and whatnot. Not so easy when it's all bobbly and what have you.
 
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#8
I'm a bit OCD, so I would prefer all the pages to be cut the same. :) I have read a couple books with this type of edging (can't remember which ones exactly), and I remember wondering why it was like that. So thanks for this thread OR!

I would prefer them not to be that way, but it wouldn't keep me from reading a book if they were.
 

Montero

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#9
I have one book like that, bought by post earlier this year. Each page end is a bit wibbly as well as not being in line with the others. I looked at it and thought they'd had an off day at the guillotine and considered sending it back. I then decided that
a) Couldn't be bothered
b) Maybe it was some arty effect (and now I learn that it was).

I don't much like it to look at, it didn't stop me reading the book, it was a little softer to the touch than clean cut books.
 

soulsinging

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#10
Count me against it. It doesn't seem at all like a superior product to me. Is it better binding, better paper, better type? Or is it just a way for them to mark up established books/authors and charge more for the same copy of Fahrenheit 451 that used to be available in a mass market paperback version for less than $10? Because it feels like the latter, just a pricey way to trade on old-timey kitsch.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#11
I think it would take a particular sort of book to be able to pull that off. It wouldn't do for ordinary books. On the right sort of book, I would like it. (Trying to think if I have any that do this, and can't think of any offhand.)

On the other hand, if every piece of paper in the world did this, I would be ecstatic, because I get papercut more than anyone I know.
 

hitmouse

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#12
Some of the older books I own have this. Some books have developed something similar after being chewed by termites.
In a modern book it is simply affectation.
 

Abernovo

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#13
I like it. Always have done. I had a couple of old books with deckle edging. Also had a more recent one which was hand cut and stitched; it was a limited print thing, but beautiful. Unfortunately, that was stolen, along with a lot of books, CDs, and LPs, back in one of my numerous moves a couple of decades ago.

It might be an affectation of style in modern books, but I still like it. Can only be done with decent quality paper, I think, so only with collectables. I like a bit of style in my life.
 

tinkerdan

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#14
I have quite a number of these(not the real thing but a forced or created deckle)as I was in the science fiction book club in the 60's and they deliberately created a rough edge that would cause the books to look this way. So every book I ordered from them had this edge.

I originally thought it made them look cheap; however it was supposed to elevate their status.
 

TheDustyZebra

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#15
I have quite a number of these(not the real thing but a forced or created deckle)as I was in the science fiction book club in the 60's and they deliberately created a rough edge that would cause the books to look this way. So every book I ordered from them had this edge.

I originally thought it made them look cheap; however it was supposed to elevate their status.
If I had my mother's collection, then, I would have those. Alas, they went... I know not where.
 

Extollager

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#19
The uneven deckle-edge look suggests old-time printing when book pages were sewn gatherings of signatures. If a book has a sewn binding, that suggests it is likely to last longer than what we typically get now, with the pages glued to the inner side of the boards, whether the paper is deckle-edged or not.

Aside from that, perhaps deckle-edged pages are easier to turn than precisely trimmed ones are, but I wouldn't be able to say that I'm sure of this. Deckle-edge sheets might tend to retain dirt (oil from fingertips, etc.) more than smoothly-trimmed pages. I guess I would often welcome deckle-edge sheets when the book is made up of sewn signatures, but prefer smooth edges otherwise.
 
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