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Barnes and Noble War and Peace Collector’s Book Review

Last year, I watched a lot of YouTube videos dedicated to the musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. If you never heard of it, it is based off seventy pages from Leo Tolstoy’s book War and Peace. I can blame my deliver to watch it for many reasons, one of them being I was stuck at home without a vehicle for many, many, many months and was sick of watching whatever was on TV. Especially the news.

After watching so many YouTube videos, I decided it was time to reread War and Peace. I read it many years ago when I was in college, but the book I read was a borrowed copy from friend of mine. Since I didn’t have my own copy of the book, I decided to search for one to buy. This was not easy to do because I knew War and Peace is a very large book and, based off the experience of reading my friend’s copy, I knew I needed a hardback version. (Hardbacks are more durable than paper back) It took me some time to find the copy I wanted to own, but I did finally settle on a Barnes and Noble hardback version.

I always loved Barnes and Noble’s hard back books. They are both affordable and beautiful to look at. Finding a copy to purchase was not easy. Barnes and Noble don’t currently offer it on their website, which made me worry that I couldn’t find one at all. After searching, I found one at a very reasonable price.

Even though Russian literature is not in vogue right now, I wanted to review this collectable version of the book. The book was produced and widely available in 2019, so it’s not as collectable as other books. Still, I like this book very much and wanted to share my thoughts about it.

The front of the book looks like this…

It is blue with black line art and gold details. The gold is metallic and shines whenever the light hits it. The design is also embossed.

The back of the book looks like this…

Like the front, the back design is in the same colors and is also embossed. The difference is the Russian imperial eagle is shown and is part of the Romanov family crest. (There are different versions of the Romanov crest available to look at online. If you’re a stickler for historical accuracy, I wanted to mention that.)

The spine of the book is beautiful and decorated in the same style and theming as the front and back of the book. The pages of the book are gold and are highly reflective…

Can you see that dark spot on the top of the pages near the middle of the book? That is actually my camera’s reflection in the gold of the book. I had to adjust the way I held the book in order to avoid a clearer visual of my camera in the reflection of the pages. That is how reflective the pages are!

The front page of the book looks like this…

And this is what the chapter list looks like…

There are not many illustrations in this book, but the ones that are there are in black and white. Also, you can see the pages are quite thin. They have the similar sheerness to the onion skin type pages found in a Bible. I didn’t mind this, but it is something others mentioned and didn’t like about the book. As you can see in the photograph above, it is pretty easy to see the other side of the page’s printing. To me, the pages are not as thin as I’ve seen Bible pages be, but I also think the pages of this book could be thicker. Using thinner pages could be a way to cut costs for the production of the book and keep it more affordable.

The inside of the book looks like this…

Even though the photograph doesn’t show what is written very clearly, you can see how tiny the print size is. To me, the print is still very legible despite the font size. I believe this was done in order to use less pages in the book. War and Peace is still a large book. Doing this reduced the size of the book, making it 884 pages long. (Other prints of the book are 928 pages at its shortest and 1440 pages at its longest. The average page length of the books I looked at is over 1100 pages long.)

This book is exactly what I wanted and was looking for. It is very ornate and opulent, which is how I imagined the book would look like in a collectable version. I am sad the pages of the book are thin, but am happy the book does not have the kind of pages that can tear easily. I know that if I read this copy, I will need to be careful when turning pages. It is a heavy book, but it is a good size to carry. The book also comes with its own ribbon bookmark, which is attached to the spine. Like the pages of the book, the ribbon bookmark is a gold color. I am very happy to own it and look forward to reading it in the future!

Well, that’s all for now! Thank you for reading!

One Comment

  • Yana

    Great book! I think they made the pages thin on purpose to make this book lighter. It’s the longest novel in the world with 1,200 plus pages, I can only imagine how much it would weigh if printed on thicker paper.

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