Today I got the six books I ordered from Amazon. Why six? Because for each of the paper-and-ink titles, What the Witch Left and No Such Thing as a Witch, there is a paperback, a hardcover with dust jacket, and a hardcover with no dust jacket (that’s the library edition).
The hardcovers have the original cover art on the covers under the dust jackets (see left!).
The library hardcovers are “case binding”, the kind of binding you think of on textbooks. Glossy paper over cardboard. And, like I said, no dust jackets (see below).
Which should you buy? Obviously if you just want to read the story, you can buy the cheap paperbacks, or even the corresponding e-books, but if you’re nostalgic for the originals, go for the hardcovers!
About the interiors of the books:
The books have a page of teaser text at the front for the story you’re holding, and longer teasers for each other in the back (a few pages from the beginning of chapter 1 of What the Witch Left; all of chapter 1 from No Such Thing as a Witch).
The text has been re-typset; these are not cheap facsimile versions where they basically photocopy an old book and reprint that. It’s a new font and new chapter headings. New linebreaks and layouts and all that.
All the original interior illustrations are there; I checked! Actually, they’ve been given more space on the page than they had before.
There are half-title pages as well as title pages in these versions; frontmatter styles as well as marketing styles have changed in the last four decades. The original dedications remain, either on the copyright page (No Such Thing) or on a separate dedication page (What the Witch Left).
I think the biggest surprise for me was seeing the back covers and spines, because of course nowhere online do you see those. There’s a kind of woven background texture that’s light blue (No Such Thing) or light teal (What the Witch Left). It’s on all three formats.
The spines say Random House, of course, but they look odd to me because I’ve got so many copies of these books that say SBS and Scholastic on the edge!
I still can’t believe they’re real. And there are are more to come!
Paperbacks front and back:
Library hardcovers front and back: