As I mentioned in a comment to a previous post, my copy of The Far Pavillions arrived this morning, and this solved the mystery of the unknown binding.
The book is a sturdy hardback, originally published in 1981 by an Italian mail order book club. Not very exciting, for an unknown whatever, but it’s ok.
Including the postage expenses it cost me less than half the English paperback (that was, in turn, two bucks cheaper than the ebook), and if the cover is pretty blah, well, it’s the story that counts, right?
Apart from the unknown binding thing, I was rather curious about the page count – which is way lower than the other editions – say, 300 pages less.
Well, after removing the original 1981 shrink wrap (!), it was easy to see that the book is printed in a terribly small font.
So small that I actually will have to use a hand lens to read it.
I guess the mail order book club used to cram as much text as possible per page, so that they could save on paper, and maybe on mailing expenses.
But all in all, mission accomplished.
The pages are a faint ivory color and feel a little crinky, but the binding is good and the small fonts are well printed.
Here’s another book for my Indian reading year.
I’ll post my impressions.