Amazon has a policy of lumping all book reviews together, so this review will show up under any version of The Hobbit including paperbacks, hardcovers, and even audio books. That may be helpful for someone looking for a review of a story, but it's a disservice for classics like this when a review of the edition is more valuable. My review is for The Hobbit: 70th Anniversary Edition.
I am giving 2 stars not to the treasured story, but to the quality of binding in this edition. I have purchased the 50th anniversary, 3 volume editions of The Lord of the Rings and love them. The same is true for 2006 hardback editions of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. This edition of The Hobbit features the same beautiful dust jacket and high quality paper and typeset, but unfortunately has a glued binding instead of the stitched binding of the other books. It is already showing signs of wear just after leafing through to view the wonderful illustrations. I'm sorry to say the durability of this edition isn't up to the standard set by the others or worth the purchase price.
Update: I wrote that review in 2008. I am still disappointed that the binding is not as nice as it could be, but I have to admit it has held up reasonably well to repeated readings and this is still the nicest version I've found short of paying 345 US dollars for the leather bound complete Tolkien collection from the Easton Press.
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