Friday, January 5, 2007

Venetia (Book #3)

In general I like Georgette Heyer's books rather than love them, heresy as that is for a Regency writer. I did, however, love Venetia (1958). It's a story of an innocent virginal miss who tames an older, debauched rake--not normally a favorite plot of mine. But she put some unusual twists in the tale, and she convinced me that the hero and heroine belonged together and would never be quite as happy with anyone else. And that's what romance is all about, Charlie Brown.

That said, while I'm glad Harlequin has put Heyer's works back in print through their HQN imprint, I wish they'd done a better job with typesetting. I guess the issue is that Heyer's works are longer than modern romances, but the publisher wants to keep them the same length/size as a typical single title romance, ~350 pages. The font size isn't especially small, but the margins are too narrow. In particular, the inside margin is so tight that when you hold the book in a normal, relaxed fashion, you can't read it properly. I had to maul the book's spine, such that it looks more like an old favorite I've read a dozen times or a book from the library's paperback swap collection than a book I got new as a Christmas present and read once.


Sherrie Holmes said...

Susan, I hear you about skimpy margins. They drive me nuts. I have tendonitis, and it causes pain having to use continual pressure to keep the book open. It's why I prefer hardbacks. At least you can open them flat without damaging the spine.

But I guess some books are just worth it, skinny margins and all. And Venetia is one of my favorite Heyers!

Susan Wilbanks said...

I like the mass market size because they're so portable, but I can do without having to play tug-of-war with a book to read it!

Isabel Swift said...

Sorry about the margins!

And yes, publishers have to think about and juggle elements like type size, margins, space between the lines, thickness of the paper number of pages, length of book, how much they feel they can charge for the book, how many books can fit in a pocket, how many books they plan to print, how many they think will sell, where they think they will sell, etc. when they work with production, marketing, sales, publicity, editorial, etc.

So bottom line, I am just glad we are getting the Geogette Heyers back out in print because I love her work. Yes, Venetia is one of my favorites!

Susan Wilbanks said...

Isabel--I'm very glad y'all have brought Heyer back into print, and I definitely understand the production constraints, especially in a case like this where you can't exactly ask the author to make cuts!

Any chance of THE SPANISH BRIDE or AN INFAMOUS ARMY being republished through HQN?