Discussion:
OCT, alternatives?
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Nathan Rose
2014-09-26 18:33:31 UTC
Permalink
Last year I bought the Oxford Classical /Metamorphoses/ for use with my
daughter. It hasn't held up very well, although it hasn't been subject
to the rough handling I sometimes give books. (It hasn't been splayed
open, or propped with a heavier book, or tumbled along in a briefcase.)
In fact, all I've done with it is sit in a chair and follow along while
my daughter translates. Nevertheless, the spine is broken in two places
and the back hinge has split.

My other OCT volumes, some of which are older than I am, are all in good
shape. I know the quality of bindings generally, even at university
presses, isn't what it used to be, but this is worse than I expected. So
I thought I'd poll others' experience before I buy our next text. A few
questions:

1) Is OCT all like that now, or did I get unlucky?

2) Are there reasonable alternatives? Teubner seems to be very expensive.

3) The OCT Pliny's letters (which is what my daughter wants to do next)
is a 1963 edition. The Ovid is 2004. Any chance a "new" Pliny will
really have been printed and bound years ago--in which case it might
hold up better--or will it be recently made, with the same binding
quality as the newer text?

Thanks,

Nathan Rose
Al Schlaf
2014-09-26 21:06:18 UTC
Permalink
I haven't bought an OCT since grad school in the early Seventies, so I
really have no idea how the more recent ones are in terms of binding. I do
know that my old college OCTs (late Sixties/early Seventies vintage) are
just soldiering along with no problems.

OUP paperbacks, OTOH...

My edition of Syme's "The Roman Revolution" (bought ca 1969) is literally
falling apart and I cannot find a hardbound copy anywhere. His "The
Augustan Aristocracy" is still in good shape, mostly due to not having the
time lately to read it. I fear what will happen when I can. I have heard
much the same from others.



AWS
Des Moines, IA


-----Original Message-----
From: Classical Greek and Latin Discussion Group
[mailto:CLASSICS-***@LSV.UKY.EDU] On Behalf Of Nathan Rose
Sent: Friday, September 26, 2014 1:34 PM
To: CLASSICS-***@LSV.UKY.EDU
Subject: [CLASSICS-L] OCT, alternatives?

Last year I bought the Oxford Classical /Metamorphoses/ for use with my
daughter. It hasn't held up very well, although it hasn't been subject to
the rough handling I sometimes give books. (It hasn't been splayed open, or
propped with a heavier book, or tumbled along in a briefcase.) In fact, all
I've done with it is sit in a chair and follow along while my daughter
translates. Nevertheless, the spine is broken in two places and the back
hinge has split.

My other OCT volumes, some of which are older than I am, are all in good
shape. I know the quality of bindings generally, even at university presses,
isn't what it used to be, but this is worse than I expected. So I thought
I'd poll others' experience before I buy our next text. A few
questions:

1) Is OCT all like that now, or did I get unlucky?

2) Are there reasonable alternatives? Teubner seems to be very expensive.

3) The OCT Pliny's letters (which is what my daughter wants to do next) is a
1963 edition. The Ovid is 2004. Any chance a "new" Pliny will really have
been printed and bound years ago--in which case it might hold up better--or
will it be recently made, with the same binding quality as the newer text?

Thanks,

Nathan Rose
Terrence Lockyer
2014-09-26 22:15:23 UTC
Permalink
One may not get the same quality of text (though of course this will vary
widely from text to text), and will get nothing like the same apparatus, but
Loeb volumes, old and new, seem pretty durable still.

Teubners also seem durable, from what I recall, *if* the work is available
in hardback. I have a Teubner Metamorphoses (Anderson's) printed in the
mid-1990s, and that's a paperback I would not necessarily trust to stand up
to serious use - it's perfect bound, for one thing, and for another is
printed to close to the inner margins for comfort.



Terrence Lockyer
Johannesburg, South Africa
e-mail: lockyert [at] mweb.co.za
James Spinti
2014-09-27 06:04:55 UTC
Permalink
Oxford has gone to print on demand for most of their books with
predictable results. Casebound POD is simply a perfect bound paperback
with boards and doesn't hold up at all to any kind of use. It's ugly,
too. I couldn't believe it the first time I received a $200 + book and
it was POD. I felt robbed : (

The 1963 OCT may be a real book, depending on how large the print run
was and how fast it sold.

The Teubner, despite being expensive, is a solid binding--or used to be
a few years ago. I don't think de Gruyter has moved to POD yet for their
books. I really like their binding, a good solid European one.

As Terrence said, the Loeb's are still Smyth bound and hold up well.

HTH,
James
_______________________
James Spinti
Proofreading and copyediting of ancient Near Eastern and biblical
studies monographs
E-mail: jdspinti at gmail dot com
Phone: 260-445-3118
PO Box 791
Grand Marais MN 55604



------ Original Message ------
From: "Nathan Rose" <***@villasubrosa.com>
To: CLASSICS-***@lsv.uky.edu
Sent: 9/26/2014 1:33:31 PM
Subject: [CLASSICS-L] OCT, alternatives?
Post by Nathan Rose
Last year I bought the Oxford Classical /Metamorphoses/ for use with my
daughter. It hasn't held up very well, although it hasn't been subject
to the rough handling I sometimes give books. (It hasn't been splayed
open, or propped with a heavier book, or tumbled along in a briefcase.)
In fact, all I've done with it is sit in a chair and follow along while
my daughter translates. Nevertheless, the spine is broken in two places
and the back hinge has split.
My other OCT volumes, some of which are older than I am, are all in
good shape. I know the quality of bindings generally, even at
university presses, isn't what it used to be, but this is worse than I
expected. So I thought I'd poll others' experience before I buy our
1) Is OCT all like that now, or did I get unlucky?
2) Are there reasonable alternatives? Teubner seems to be very
expensive.
3) The OCT Pliny's letters (which is what my daughter wants to do next)
is a 1963 edition. The Ovid is 2004. Any chance a "new" Pliny will
really have been printed and bound years ago--in which case it might
hold up better--or will it be recently made, with the same binding
quality as the newer text?
Thanks,
Nathan Rose
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