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The Complete Calvin and Hobbes Hardcover – Box set, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
The original problem was that the pages were glued together instead of sewn. THIS HAS BEEN CORRECTED with a subsequent printing. That being said, I would strongly recommend against purchasing a used copy of this set unless you've verified with the seller that the binding is SEWN binding.
A little background: being aware of the issues surrounding the glued binding, I did a little research on internet forums to see if the issue had been corrected. The only evidence I could find was one random poster on a random forum saying that they "thought" the issue had been corrected.
So I took matters into my own hands and called the publisher. It took forever to get through to them (the number seems to be intended for wholesalers looking to purchase in bulk), but the lady that helped me was able to call back and confirm that the binding is now sewn rather than glued. I asked when the most recent printing had been, and her (now undoubtedly out-of-date) answer gave me confidence that it was far enough back to reassure me that most retailers would have cleared out their stock of the first edition printing. Reassured by this (and Amazon's return policy), I went ahead and purchased after it went on sale. And I can now confirm: sewn binding.
As an aside, as others are saying, the collection is quite heavy—but I wouldn't say that the individual books are too heavy to read if you've propped the book against your legs, etc.
The quality of this collection is (finally) worthy of such a great and timeless comic strip. Calvin & Hobbes stands alone at the top of best comic strip of all time, and nothing else even comes close. Everyone can enjoy this strip, from young kids to adults (though adult fans likely won't want to let their kids touch the books lol)
The box, durable binding, and extra content (essays on how he created such wonderful stuff) make the expense of this set well worth it.
It is so heavy that you get a hernia trying to lug around all of them at once, even if you pick up one of these books it feels heavy. Taking out a specific book is a bit tricky since the place where you are supposed to hold them and pull them out is made of cloth and it feels like it could rip apart if you pulled it hard. Luckily i found a simple way, in order to get the book you want, just block the other two books with your hand and turn the box upside down a bit. The book slides out smoothly.
Once you take out the books, you will see the pages not really sewn together, they are glued together. I understand from some of the other comments that it is one of the common ways of binding sometimes. However, as of result of this kind of binding, the books become too delicate if you want to read them. I have been extremely careful in opening the books, i never let them open flat out, i only open like 60-70% so that there is as less pressure as possible on the glued part, even then after a few days i see some of the pages have shifted a bit ( haven't come out , but just budged higher than the other pages). Its difficult to enjoy the book itself if you have to take such extreme care. It looks so sturdy from the outside, but you have to handle it like it was a baby!
I wanted to give this collection a 5 star ( it is a 5 star if we only consider the contents of the books), but had to take off a star just solely based on the binding quality. With the way i am treating it , i am hoping the pages won't come apart, but i am highly suspicious about what is going to happen in the future. I definitely think that if you are going to read it from time to time, this thing is going to come apart. I am planning to give it for proper binding that time when it happens. I still feel it was money well spent and would recommend to get this collection if you are a fan!