Received!

As I reported Wednesday, Errata Editions began shipping the Limited Edition sets. I sent in my payment that morning and was hoping to receive my set sometime next week.

Cut to this morning, when after a late night last night I pulled myself out of bed this morning to run down to the post office, where I knew a package was waiting for me. (It was an original painting by an artist I’m very fond of, an early Christmas present to myself.) When I arrived, they said another package had come for me just this morning, so I picked up both.

Imagine my shock when I opened the larger parcel in the car to realize it was my LE set from Errata. Let’s begin with this – the packaging is excellent. I am known for using the first red light I stop at to open any package I’ve just picked up. There was no way I was getting past the bubble wrap. Let’s just say, if you have bumped corners when you receive your volumes, it’s probably your fault.

Darned stomach, I had to get some lunch, so I just got home and opened the package. Omigosh omigosh omigosh. I had high hopes for these books – they blow whatever I had in mind out of the water. To remind you, these LE volumes are hardcover with a cloth cover. On the front is a tipped-in reproduction of the original cover of the original book. I don’t know what quality the trade edition will be, but these are exquisite.

On the inside, I’m going to generalize from the first volume, Eugent Atget: Photographe de Paris, simply because having looked at one book, I couldn’t wait to post this entry. The first 80-90% of the book (there is no pagination, so I have to estimate) is made up of reproduction plates of the original book – it looks like only most of the original French preface is not included in the reproduction.

Immediately following the reproductions, there is an English translation of the original preface by Pierre Mac Orlan. This is followed by essays by David Campany and Jeffrey Ladd, a brief biography of Atget, and a bibliography of major works of his photography (including a page showing the covers of several of these books).

Then comes what I think is the most interesting innovation – the copyright page. This is the last page in the text block, in fact. There is no front matter whatsoever. What this means is that when you open the book the first thing you see is the cover of the original Photographe de Paris, followed by (most of) the original book.

I will post later on the other three volumes (Walker Evans: American Photographs, Sophie Ristelhueber: Fait, and Chris Killip: In Flagrante). I have no doubt they will be of the same quality as this first.

I really have to say that at only a slightly higher price per volume than the trade editions, this Limited Edition set is a real steal. Buy a set for yourself, buy one for your best friend, by one for your local school’s library. It should really be criminal that there are still some sets available, and if any are still left after the first of the year, I imagine I will be buying an extra one for myself.

So… if you haven’t already, contact Errata Editions today and buy your LE set.

Though it doesn’t have anything to do with the books per se, I really have to tell you that Jeffrey Ladd is a great person. I’d dealt with him before his announcement of Errata Editions, and in those dealings as well as those regarding Errata, he’s been nothing but helpful and friendly. To give you one example, I did not realize that I had purchased my set early enough to receive free shipping. When I paid for the shipping, some people would have said nothing or at the very least refunded the extra. Instead Jeffrey enclosed with my books a very special gift. (I’m not going to tell you what it was, because you’ll all be extraordinarily jealous.) And by the way, his regular blog, 5B4|Photography and Books, is fantastic, and anyone who loves photo books should be reading it religiously.

So if I haven’t said it enough already, PLEASE go buy this set from Errata. Keep in mind that the sales from each book goes to fund another new book in the series, so go buy this set from Errata.

(If for some reason you’ve missed all the links throughout the post, this is the website to go to: http://www.errataeditions.com)

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~ by David Cupp on December 6, 2008.

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