Saturday, July 17, 2010

The $75,000 book

The Wall Street Journal has a story about high-end specialty publishers selling limited-edition books with prices up to $75,000.  Brett Ratner, the director of Rush Hour and X-Men 3, loves these things.  And he's widely known as a consummate aesthete with discerning taste.

A book about the installation artist Christo is designed by the artist and comes with a 1965 lithograph.  A book about Muhammad Ali comes with rare autographed photos.  A very limited run of a book about the Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar is printed with ink made from Tendulkar's blood, for some reason.  A book about the lunar landing comes with a piece of the moon.

"Guess what, Minions?  We're in the publishing business now!"

So what other exciting limited editions can we expect?  Most of these deluxe books are only for small-run, specialty titles, but my heart begins to beat faster as I imagine the tantalizing possibilities of super-fancy runs of mainstream bestsellers.  For just one year's salary, you could have:

1.  A limited edition of Bret Easton Ellis's Imperial Bedrooms, with a brick of commemorative cocaine.  Order up some hookers and some chainsaws, and party like it's 1985!

2.  A special version of Andrew Young's John Edwards tell-all, The Politician, with a rare vial of Edwards's DNA.  Now you can establish the Senator's paternity in the comfort of your home!

3.  Glenn Beck's The Overton Window, numbered, autographed, and soaked in a vat of the author's tears.

4.  A limited edition of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight: New Moon, bound in skin from Taylor Lautner's waxed, shirtless chest.  You should have read that contract more carefully, Taylor!

5.  Justin Halpern's Sh*t My Dad Says, made from Halpern's father's actual shit.
6.  Tucker Max's Assholes Finish First, printed with a special ink made from a pint of the author's smug sense of self-satisfaction. Fun fact: it smells kind of like Axe body spray. 

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