By Stephen Pate – “Can I put these Dylan song books away now?” I asked my wife as I picked up Dylan: 100 Songs & Pictures
The books lay on the kitchen table for a week. I was trying to figure out if I could lift The Lyrics: Since 1962 long enough to read some of those 960 pages.
Bob Dylan The Definitive Songbook is so heavy I got it split in two and bound with a spiral binding so it will lay flat on a music stand. As for Dylan: 100 Songs & Pictures, it went on a bookshelf and had not moved until last week.
“No leave them there,” she said. “I’m not finished looking at the songs and then the pictures while considering where Dylan was in his personal life and his musical career, while then thinking about where I was at the same time and where I am today.”
“When I’m done I want you to write a story about me and Bob Dylan and get it listed in Expecting Rain.”
I understand sarcasm when she dishes it out. I left the room quietly and wrote this story.
Bob Dylan the Lyrics Since 1962
The 960 page 12&Prime by 12&Prime book The Lyrics: Since 1962 looks gorgeous with a gold ribbon and extra heavy cloth cover and binding, the real classy treatment for a book is important.
The Lyrics: Since 1962 was announced last year by Simon and Schuster at around 700 pages. Then the publisher got the Dylan scholar Christopher Ricks to write some important text and involved two art book publishers the sister team of Lisa Nemrow and Julie Nemrow.
At 960 pages we are talking about either an art book, coffee table book, or a major work of musical scholarship that Dylanologists must own, much like those fancy bibles that Catholics own with the plates of art work. There is a risk the book will be like that Catholic Bible, beautiful but never read.
I’m a lifetime Dylan follower and should own the book. However, I am getting older and my arms don’t like heavy books. We have a shelf dedicated to big heavy books that looked interesting on the bookstore display.
I have two other choices: 1) get the book as a Kindle edition for 2/3rd less on October 1, 2015 or 2) use the books I already own and cross check them with Eyolf Østrem’s Dylan site, which incidentally the book publishers keep trying to shut down.
Hedging my bets I broached The Lyrics: Since 1962 as a Christmas gift this year.
“If you think I’m getting you the Dylan Bible with the gold ribbon forget it!” she said. “Just listen to the music and stop analyzing him.”
By the way, I figure Bob Dylan: The Lyrics weighs about 10 lbs.
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By Stephen Pate, NJN Network