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View Full Version : Deckle Edge. Yay or nay?



Adam
09-06-2011, 02:07 PM
Up until about twenty minutes ago, I'd never heard of Deckle edge book printing. Apparently those rough edged pages in the Drizzt hardbacks I own are done to make it look handmade. I just thought they were badly made. :tongue

So, what's your opinion on the technique? Love it? Loath it? Would you want your book printed using it? Let's have us a talk! :D

Linky for those who think I'm a little drunk. (http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-King-Transitions-Book-III/dp/0786952334/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0) And here's the Wiki link. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deckle)

alleycat
09-06-2011, 02:18 PM
It's often used for reprints of classic. If it's done well I like it.

Adam
09-06-2011, 02:21 PM
With a fancy cover or binding, I like it, but in the case of the hardbacks I have with perfect binding and covers, it looks out of place to me. Hence me not realising it was an intentional design thing, I guess. :)

alleycat
09-06-2011, 02:29 PM
I would probably find a deckle edge a bit pretension for a new release. It wouldn't really bother me however.

Along this same line . . .

I have a book of the complete plays of Shakespeare. It's hardback with some kind of textured surface. It feels like it's sticking to your hands when you hold it (like someone had actually spilled something sticky all over it; you almost have to "pull" you hands away). I can't stand it.

Adam
09-06-2011, 02:35 PM
Bleh! I wouldn't be a fan of that either. :D

alleycat
09-06-2011, 02:39 PM
It's the only book I've ever seen quite like that.

scarletpeaches
09-06-2011, 02:40 PM
I would prefer a heckled edge book. Every time you open it, it insults you.

"You're shit! You can't read! Boo!"

Adam
09-06-2011, 02:43 PM
"Call that a bookmark?!"

Linda Adams
09-06-2011, 02:44 PM
The first thing I thought was deckle of beef. Maybe I'm watching too much of Chopped.

I don't think it adds anything to a book, though.

AlwaysJuly
09-06-2011, 05:05 PM
I hate it, personally. I don't like the way it looks and feels - like a papercut waiting to happen.

I might be able to get behind heckle edging, though.

Adam
09-06-2011, 06:09 PM
Never encourage Scarletpeaches. ;)

*Puts a hand over the post where he encouraged her.*

scarletpeaches
09-06-2011, 06:11 PM
*does not need any encouragement*

:D

Wayne K
09-06-2011, 06:27 PM
Deckle sounds fecal, so I vote Nay

Wayne K
09-06-2011, 06:28 PM
I would prefer a heckled edge book. Every time you open it, it insults you.

"You're shit! You can't read! Boo!"

See?

Wayne K
09-06-2011, 06:29 PM
Wait, what?

Alessandra Kelley
09-06-2011, 06:59 PM
I deal with deckle edged art papers. It's meant to look like the paper is handmade, thus fancy and expensive. They're pretty, but I find them a nuisance in books. Depending on the book, I like to riffle through pages and go back and forth. Deckle edges can make that difficult. As a bit of a paper snob I am aware of what true deckle edges look like and what the difference is, but that's really obscure knowledge.

Jamesaritchie
09-06-2011, 06:59 PM
I don't think any publisher ever used Deckle Edge because anyone liked it. It's simply a much cheaper way of printing a book, and goes back to a time when you had to cut the pages of a book apart with a knife before reading it.

After enough time passed, deckle edge came to be thought of as showing the book, or stationery, was handmade. Well, handmade is always better than machine made, right?

In this case, no. Deckle edge is harder to read, tears much easier, and doesn't last as long, which is why you almost always see it on book club editions of novels.

Anaquana
09-06-2011, 07:43 PM
Up until about twenty minutes ago, I'd never heard of Deckle edge book printing. Apparently those rough edged pages in the Drizzt hardbacks I own are done to make it look handmade. I just thought they were badly made. :tongue

So, what's your opinion on the technique? Love it? Loath it? Would you want your book printed using it? Let's have us a talk! :D

Linky for those who think I'm a little drunk. (http://www.amazon.com/Ghost-King-Transitions-Book-III/dp/0786952334/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0) And here's the Wiki link. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deckle)


Oh, so it was intentional, huh? I thought the same as you that my poor Drizzt was being insulted by poor craftsmanship.

Medievalist
09-06-2011, 08:33 PM
It's not appropriate for all books; the paper is thicker, and can be a problem with binding. You have to use slightly different kinds of inks in some printers because the paper is very absorbent.

AlishaS
09-06-2011, 09:29 PM
I didn't know it had a name, but meh, I don't go for that business. If I wanted my books to "look" old, well shit, I'd buy an old book.

Alessandra Kelley
09-06-2011, 09:32 PM
It's not appropriate for all books; the paper is thicker, and can be a problem with binding. You have to use slightly different kinds of inks in some printers because the paper is very absorbent.

Ohh, right. It's absorbent sort of as a consequence of how it's made. I mean real deckle edges. But even fake deckles have to be on a slightly softer, more absorbent paper or they'll just look like scrapbook pinking shears got at them.

Watercolor paper often has deckle edges, but it's so thick and soft and absorbent it's practically felt.

Alessandra Kelley
09-06-2011, 09:33 PM
I didn't know it had a name, but meh, I don't go for that business. If I wanted my books to "look" old, well shit, I'd buy an old book.

As far as I can tell the better quality of old book had carefully squared, cut paper edges, not deckles. To be even more fancy, the edges were gilded or painted with a little scene -- can't do that on deckle edges!

Medievalist
09-06-2011, 09:36 PM
Deckle paper was used on chap books, for instance, and small print runs of hand-set lead type books that had engravings. It really was meant to suggest "hand made" and old, as in incunabula.

Vespertilion
09-06-2011, 10:13 PM
I like the look of deckled edges, but my problem with them is that it's distracting. Every time I turn the page, the uneven edge bushes over my finger pads, and for a split second, I'm distracted from what I was reading. I thought I'd get used to it further into the book, but not.

It's maddening.

IceCreamEmpress
09-06-2011, 11:30 PM
I checked "don't like the look" but I do like it on a small book like a chapbook. On a regular mass-market book, I think it's usually pretentious faux-Renaissance crappitude.

skylark
09-06-2011, 11:42 PM
I don't like it at all. I've only encountered it in "how to make hand made cards" guides and every time I've thought "meh, I'd rather a nice straight edge."

Medievalist
09-07-2011, 12:53 AM
I don't think any publisher ever used Deckle Edge because anyone liked it. It's simply a much cheaper way of printing a book, and goes back to a time when you had to cut the pages of a book apart with a knife before reading it.

No James, not exactly.

The deckle was a product of the wire mesh or underlayment used in making high-fiber content paper. The deckle was the edge of the paper along the frame. Cutting the page doesn't produce deckling; the impression of the edge of the frame produces it.

It became associated with hand-made paper, and hand-made books. It became, like the hand-colored early printed books, a sign of expense because you were using hand-made paper, not milled paper.

Modern deckled edges are produced by crimping, and then cutting, or by a rolling blade the imitates the effect of the crimping and cutting.

flarue
09-07-2011, 01:00 AM
I'm not very impressed by it. If I want a book to purposefully look old, it better be the real thing or tie somehow into the actual story inside.

Xelebes
09-07-2011, 05:11 AM
Never really come across it. May have once or twice come across it, but I don't really have any opinions on it because it is a bit alien to me.

moth
09-07-2011, 05:27 AM
I voted "dislike."

I first came across it when researching my wedding invitations 15 years ago, and I didn't like it. A few years later, when I learned it was something that could be used with books, I still didn't like it.

Those were unlearned opinions. However, having read this thread and having learned more about it, I still don't like it.

Take or leave or toss out the window as you see fit. :)

fadeaccompli
09-07-2011, 08:08 AM
I like the look, though I like it partly because it's rarer; I'd probably not be as fond if every other book was printed that way. I'm particularly fond of the way it looks on a collection of eddas that I own. It says 'classic' vaguely in the way an all-text cover without glossy imagery does.

MacAllister
09-07-2011, 08:20 AM
I like it when it's extremely well done, because the book becomes sort of yummy to handle. When it's poorly done, though, not so much.

Hiroko
09-08-2011, 01:38 AM
I've read books with Deckle Edge before, and while a well-done Edge is nice, having it doesn't really change my reading experience.

LJD
09-08-2011, 05:38 AM
I hate it.
I wouldn't go so far as to not buy the book only because it has a deckle edge, but pretty close.

Manuel Royal
09-08-2011, 05:56 AM
I'm conflicted. It would seem strange if a new hardback were made that way. On the other hand, it pushes my nostalgia button by bringing back the many hours I spent in the ETSU library in my youth, often looking through old books with (what I just now found are called) deckle edges.

I hung out there even when I wasn't signed up for classes. One subzero night when I was homeless, I slept there, downstairs in the reference section. In better times, I once had a memorable amorous interlude down there.

Adam, why do you torture me with memories of vanished youth?

Oh, about the edges. Generally, nay.

Adam
09-08-2011, 05:22 PM
:D

So far the poll is pretty even. The five people who put their fingers in plug sockets worry me a little, though.

Wayne K
09-08-2011, 05:24 PM
I'm going to play the devils advocate and say you're all wrong

Wayne K
09-09-2011, 04:34 AM
I win

aadams73
09-09-2011, 05:01 AM
I'm not fussed either way, to be honest. THE THIRTEENTH TALE has deckled edges and I barely noticed after saying, "Hey, deckled edges!"

However, I picked up a trade paperback copy of Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME and the paper is...weird. It has this strange, slippery feel that gives me the willies to touch.