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Old 09-02-2007, 08:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by annc View Post
They all have small margins – and pulpy paper – because the publishers try desperately to keep the weight down for elderly people with arthritic hands.
You are kind. My more cynical assumption was they were trying to save paper, printing, and expense.

Originally Posted by annc
My main complaint is that they generally don't set the H&Js correctly, so you have huge word spaces and vast rivers of white. I've never seen 16/17 point Times, though – ours usually have fairly decent leading.
I was just guessing before: it is actually set 20.5 on 16 points X 26 picas. And yes, lousy spacing — I believe that the rule was to have no — zero, zilch — hyphenation. You can imagine what this does to type of this size at such a measure! (I also see no hint that the spacing was customized to begin with, even though they are using type designed for 11 to 13 point at a much larger size.)

This is Magdalen Nabb’s Property of Blood, incidentally — a good book but for its production (in my case). The binding is also one of those that will not allow you to open the spreads fully, so you feel like you’re wrestling with this intractable thing while you try to read.

I have great sympathy for people with poor sight. Before my cataract surgery, I needed large type to read (the web was easier than print at that point, so long as I could blow up the text — if all else failed, I could copy it into an app that allowed me to if the browser did not). But this book is just plain hard to read regardless. All it offers is large letters, but an important aspect of legible type is space, and there it fails completely. Yet I suppose those with problem eyes are grateful anyway, and the books get sold and read. They could be so much better, though, and it might not raise the price outrageously.

Originally Posted by annc
With the ageing of the baby boomers, things are looking up in some areas for large print. The editions are starting to come out at the same time as the hard cover adult fiction, and the cover artwork is improving all the time. Sometimes now I see that the mainstream publishers are licensing their covers to the large print publishers. Such an improvement on the old 'plain wrapper' covers.
This has a nice cover. It is from Chivers Large Print & Thorndike Press, an English company, so you may well get it in Australia.

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