Something That Makes Me Happy

There’s a copy of Hegel’s Outlines of the Philosophy of Right in the window of Blackwells with a “buy one, get one free” sticker on it.

11 thoughts on “Something That Makes Me Happy”

  1. My copy of the book, full of several years’ worth of teaching and research marginalia, is now close to useless: pp. 145-266 have completely detached from the binding, and it turns out that these Cambridge Texts paperbacks aren’t, in fact, sewn (the appearance of signatures notwithstanding), which means it can’t be fixed. So, all in all, two for the price of one sounds about right.

    Yes, yes, I know; a humorless response to a playful observation. But it’s been that kind of day.

  2. which means it can’t be fixed

    It probably could be, actualy. I used to work in Oxford Brookes University Library and part of my job there was book repair. One of my colleagues there was so good at it I swear the books were in better condition after she’d repaired them than when they were new.

  3. I still use my mum’s copy of the Philosophy of Right that she had at university – it’s a nice hardback of the Knox translation, with some of her marginalia in it. I also have her copies of some of Ernest Barker’s old textbooks, but, curiously enough, I don’t consult those quite so often.

  4. EJH — I’ve already consulted with the head of preservation at our library about this, and, yes, to be more precise, the problem isn’t that it CAN’T be repaired but that it can’t be done by hand (as it could have been if it were sewn); it’s a double-fan adhesive binding, which means it’d need to be sent to a commercial bindery with the appropriate machine, and they’d charge me hundreds of dollars for a single book.

  5. What’s wrong with books falling apart? Gives one the opportunity to show what a Hegel-head (or whatever) one is, as with PM above; means the “book” stays open on one’s desk without additional pressure being applied; makes it possible to squeeze even more marginalia in (with tightly glued paperbacks it is always really difficult getting a pencil in towards the spine); makes it easier to photocopy pages (preserving one’s marginalia and adding an extra margin for yet more); and finally gives one the opportunity to get another copy. All good, I’d have thought.

  6. PS I should have added that my completely disintegrated books are the Miller translation of the Phenomenology (v. crummy production in the first place) and the Pelican Marx Library Early Writings. Still use the old versions (held together with elastic bands), alongside nice replacement copies.

  7. Well, my Stalin (by Deutscher, in Pelican) fell apart to the extent that I had to throw it away, which is a shame as I was given it by my late-great aunt who was once asked to be Deutscher’s secretary. If spines fall apart you’ve had it, in the absence of specialist help, and pages that come out are easily lost or put in the wrong order.

  8. Good point; there are advantages. Among them is the opportunity for cheap jokes in class, in which you let “Morality” through the first pages of “Ethical Life” drop onto the table just as you’re suggesting that the Hegelian system might not hold together. I’ll stop grousing.

  9. As veterans of the paperback Riverside Chaucer will tell you, books don’t fall apart: they merely become multi-volume editions.

    As for the Hegel, buy two, then march the second copy upstairs and sell it back to the second-hand department.

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