THE CONFUSION….Glenn Reynolds and Eugene Volokh have both finished Neal Stephenson’s latest novel, The Confusion. I haven’t.

I bought a copy a couple of days ago, read about a hundred pages, and the spine collapsed. Yesterday I took it back and got a new copy. After about 50 more pages the spine semi-collapsed. I’m continuing to read it, but with much more care than I usually give to books.

Did my local bookstore just get a bad batch? Maybe. But the weird thing is that I can’t figure out how the book is put together. It’s bound in signatures, but the signatures aren’t stitched together, just glued in some fashion that I can’t quite fathom. The only way to figure it out, I suppose, would be to tear the book to pieces, and while that may end up happening in the course of reading it anyway, I’m not willing to do it deliberately.

Yet more evidence that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

UPDATE: A blue ribbon task force to recommend minimum federal standards for book binding? Yeah, I might be able to sign up for that….

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