Many years ago, the editor of the Los Angeles Times book review section (yes, the really, really odd one) insisted that publishers send him advance review copies and unbound galleys rather than the final printed book. The ARCs and galleys often ended up in the trash, including the loose pages for the Library of America’s boxed set of Raymond Chandler—which, as far as I know, The Times didn’t bother to review. Several of us on the copy desk were in the habit of inspecting the book review trash and I felt that Raymond Chandler deserved better. And so for years, I have been getting by with a zillion loose pages of my rescue set of Chandler.
This year, as a present to myself, I ordered the Library of America’s boxed set. It lists at $100 and is available from Amazon for $80, but Library of America is selling it for $60 with free shipping and if you’re a bit resourceful you can score an additional 10% discount.
I’m a huge Library of America fan, and have been a subscriber for years. Every spring, they send a list of upcoming titles and planned reprints. You check off the collections you want and how often you want to receive volumes. Subscription copies come in special slipcases and cost about half the retail price. Between unobtrusive annotation, definitive edits and an average of 1000 pages per anthology, it’s one of the best book clubs out there.