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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 09:28   #1
Vollmeise
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Helm Identification Guides: Poor reprint quality?

Hello Birders,

maybe someone out there did some comparison of genuine and reprinted editions of the "Helm Identification Guides" and can share the experience.

Tho weeks ago I ordered a "new" version of Clement's "finches and sparrows", reprinted in 2013. As I own several older and newer books of the Helm ID series, for example "Buntings and Sparrows" (Byers, Olsson, Curson 1995) or "Robins and Chats" (Clement, Rose 2015), I had no doubt to receive anoher excellent printed book with outstanding color plates and just a pleasure to use it.

But - what I received was an unbounded cheek. It seemed they just used an (uncalibrated) color laser printer to print the text pages (uncoated plain paper) and color plates (coated paper). The printed text lacks sharpness and the quality of the plates' colors is - sorry - just lousy. The plate of Sirins for example shows the birds in much too vivid colors, all of that plate's birds show the same yellow-greenish look and are evenmore they are not printed sharp at all. These plates are just useles for identification due to poorest print quality.

The bookbinding itself and the print quality of the outer dust cover is great nevertheless and seems to be offset printed. So the "look and feel" and first impression of he book is good, as long as you don't open it.

Now I ordered one of the "original" editions from 1993 and hope not to be disappointed again.

Do other Birders have the same experience with reprinted books of the Helm ID Guide series?

Thx and Cheers,

Vollmeise
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 11:47   #2
andyadcock
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I can't speak specifically for Helm but I do collect books and sadly, the trend with reprints is to use inferior paper, cheaper inks and often a much poorer binding, especially the so called 'print on demand' titles.

My 2nd edition of of Warings moths of Britain is falling apart whilst the 1st ed is still solid.

Sad to say that it's just the way things are going, maximising profit by using inferior materials.


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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 13:58   #3
Swissboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vollmeise View Post
Hello Birders,

maybe someone out there did some comparison of genuine and reprinted editions of the "Helm Identification Guides" and can share the experience.

Tho weeks ago I ordered a "new" version of Clement's "finches and sparrows", reprinted in 2013. As I own several older and newer books of the Helm ID series, for example "Buntings and Sparrows" (Byers, Olsson, Curson 1995) or "Robins and Chats" (Clement, Rose 2015), I had no doubt to receive anoher excellent printed book with outstanding color plates and just a pleasure to use it.

But - what I received was an unbounded cheek. It seemed they just used an (uncalibrated) color laser printer to print the text pages (uncoated plain paper) and color plates (coated paper). The printed text lacks sharpness and the quality of the plates' colors is - sorry - just lousy. The plate of Sirins for example shows the birds in much too vivid colors, all of that plate's birds show the same yellow-greenish look and are evenmore they are not printed sharp at all. These plates are just useles for identification due to poorest print quality.

The bookbinding itself and the print quality of the outer dust cover is great nevertheless and seems to be offset printed. So the "look and feel" and first impression of he book is good, as long as you don't open it.

Now I ordered one of the "original" editions from 1993 and hope not to be disappointed again.

Do other Birders have the same experience with reprinted books of the Helm ID Guide series?

Thx and Cheers,

Vollmeise
That is truly a very bad thing, wonder whether Helm authorizes such lousy quality. One should think they have a reputation to lose.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 16:29   #4
Tom Lawson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vollmeise View Post
Hello Birders,

maybe someone out there did some comparison of genuine and reprinted editions of the "Helm Identification Guides" and can share the experience.

Tho weeks ago I ordered a "new" version of Clement's "finches and sparrows", reprinted in 2013. As I own several older and newer books of the Helm ID series, for example "Buntings and Sparrows" (Byers, Olsson, Curson 1995) or "Robins and Chats" (Clement, Rose 2015), I had no doubt to receive anoher excellent printed book with outstanding color plates and just a pleasure to use it.

But - what I received was an unbounded cheek. It seemed they just used an (uncalibrated) color laser printer to print the text pages (uncoated plain paper) and color plates (coated paper). The printed text lacks sharpness and the quality of the plates' colors is - sorry - just lousy. The plate of Sirins for example shows the birds in much too vivid colors, all of that plate's birds show the same yellow-greenish look and are evenmore they are not printed sharp at all. These plates are just useles for identification due to poorest print quality.

The bookbinding itself and the print quality of the outer dust cover is great nevertheless and seems to be offset printed. So the "look and feel" and first impression of he book is good, as long as you don't open it.

Now I ordered one of the "original" editions from 1993 and hope not to be disappointed again.

Do other Birders have the same experience with reprinted books of the Helm ID Guide series?

Thx and Cheers,

Vollmeise
I haven't any experience of actual Helm reprints,but Bloomsbury also own Poyser and the 'print on demand' copies are on poorer paper with poor reproduction of the plates,particularly those in colour. The first 100 New Naturalists from Collins are also available 'print on demand' and are likewise nowhere near as good as the originals.However the Collins 'print on demand' dust-wrappers are excellent,but suffer from having 'print on demand' printed on them if you wanted to use them on the original book printings!
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Old Saturday 14th October 2017, 11:02   #5
andyadcock
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Lawson View Post
I haven't any experience of actual Helm reprints,but Bloomsbury also own Poyser and the 'print on demand' copies are on poorer paper with poor reproduction of the plates,particularly those in colour. The first 100 New Naturalists from Collins are also available 'print on demand' and are likewise nowhere near as good as the originals.However the Collins 'print on demand' dust-wrappers are excellent,but suffer from having 'print on demand' printed on them if you wanted to use them on the original book printings!
Tom Lawson.
I actually collect NN's Tom,
books usually carry the PoD tag but I didn't realise the jackets did?

I often seen books from the 1950's or 60's, described as 1st ed but the jacket is usually a dead give away if it's a repro. Another thing that unscrupulous sellers will do, is put a 1st ed book in the jacket of a later edition for cosmetic reasons. They can usually be told apart but you have to know what to look for.



A

Last edited by andyadcock : Saturday 14th October 2017 at 11:04.
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