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Classical Springer and Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann quality

  1. Oct 19, 2015 #1
    I have noticed that the quality of books by these two publishers has plunged. I have seen a couple of recent Springer titles with very poor glued bindings and very poor print quality. What Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann have done to the Landau and Lifshitz series is criminal. The Pergamon printings in the 70s and 80s (which include the most recent editions) were marvelous: high quality print on thick paper with robust sewn bindings.

    I compared a new Springer GTM to my old copy of Hungerford's "Algebra" and it was like night and day. The new one has a cheesy glued binding and I expect the pages will start falling out after the book has been opened less than a dozen times. The paper isn't even good enough to wrap a fish in.

    I picked up Zee's big book on general relativity and was pleasantly surprised to see the print and binding quality is as good as any book I've ever seen.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2015 #2

    Geofleur

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    I absolutely agree about Elsevier and Landau/Lifshitz - makes me upset every time I think of it. I had to save a long time to get all those volumes, and the one on quantum mechanics is so faded that I had to figure out what was written in many places by using the surrounding discussion! What can one do?
     
  4. Oct 20, 2015 #3
    You can buy a good used copy. I recently picked up volumes 1, 3 and 5 in almost new condition from an online bookseller in Cambridge (UK). I already have a gorgeous hardback volume 2 I got from Amazon a few years back. Amazon and Abebooks always have good copies (look for Pergamon) usually priced less than new.

    As an aside, I just picked up a brand new copy of Jackson 2nd edition, which is (imo) much better than the 3rd edition. Got it from an excellent used bookseller.
     
  5. Oct 24, 2015 #4

    vanhees71

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    With Springer I have never had problems. To the contrary, they produce very high-quality books, both hard and soft cover. Also the content is almost always good. The best German-speaking general theory book (covering the entire European BSc content, i.e., mechanics, E&M, QM I, and Thermo/Stat) written in the last decades (Bartelmann et al, Physik). I only hope they write another volume with the topics for the MSc curriculum.

    Elsevier is a bit strange. It's usually very expensive and sometimes not too reliable in the editor task. E.g., they printed the proceedings for the Quark Matter Conference 2014 (in my home town Darmstadt) with using a cover from the previous Quark Matter Conference 2012 (Washington/DC). Otherwise the quality of the book (binding, print) is excellent.

    I've the German edition of Landau/Lifshitz. It was printed in the former GDR. Some volumes were printed later after reunification. The only difference is the paper quality, which is a bit worse for the GDR volumes, but even these are still good after about 30 years.
     
  6. Oct 26, 2015 #5
    I have a copy of the Landau QM book from a few years ago where the fine print is unreadable splotches. I found an excellent used Pergamon edition as a replacement. I suggest using abebooks, where you can choose the exact edition you want.
     
  7. Oct 26, 2015 #6

    vanhees71

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    I know the Pergamon edition from our hand library here in the institute too, and it's very good in both print and binding quality (hard-cover edition).
     
  8. Oct 29, 2015 #7
    Springer is largely print-on-demand these days, which means that you are really rolling the dice when it comes to quality, unless you are able to purchase the books in person at a bookstore. I had heard that the printing quality was better when you ordered directly from the publisher than from Amazon, so I ordered Stillwell's Naive Lie Theory from Springer earlier this year, and unfortunately the printing is terrible.

    I was also very disappointed when my copy of Schutz's First Course in General Relativity from Cambridge University Press arrived and was also printed terribly. The book was obviously typeset with care and CUP books are usually very high quality, but this looked like a bad Xerox. Areas of solid gray were particularly bad.

    It is really making me wary of buying expensive textbooks "blind" even when I know the content is outstanding.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2015 #8

    Geofleur

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    I have had an experience consistent with what dfan is saying. Something bad happened to one of my Landau volumes once and so I ordered another one. Both copies I had ordered straight from amazon, and each was of very different print quality. That seems weird to me, because presumably they use the same process each time?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
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