Tuesday, April 08, 2008

How to mess up my bookshelf

I've been a big fan of Alistair Reynolds since Revelation Space came out several years back. Great Big stories full of Great Big spaceships. And only sometimes slightly marred by tiny little endings.

But the main problem for me initially was the size of the books. They were roughly normal paperback size but slightly wider and slightly squatter. It meant that when you put them on your shelf they didn't sit there neatly like a nice book. No, they stuck out aways and shouted "Look at me! I'm annoying". A bit like me in the pub which is maybe why I initially put up with it. After a while though you get more and more of the books and when you have five or six, they all sit, oddly-sized but oddly-sized together, on your bookshelf. And the oddness becomes normality.

Today I visited the bookshop and became highly irritated. His new paperback (The Prefect) has changed shape a little. It's taller than the other books. By about a centimetre.

What were his publishers thinking? Are they deliberately trying to deter his existing readers? Or are they simply trying to attract a new audience? An audience who only reads books that are slightly taller than an author's previous books? Insanity!

I for one shan't be buying any more. I'm going to only read Ladybird books instead. You know where you are with Ladybird books. They've been the same size since I was a lad and they'll be same size when I'm a wizened old man.

Sod Reynolds. Book-size-changing-bastard.

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