In reading many comments by customers, I approached this order with great trepidation- both in general and in regards to this specific book. This is my first order from this site, so I am offering a sort of log of my overall experience for the sake of any other new customer who may be as cautious as I was going in.
I placed my order for this print-on-demand book on April 29. The confirmation email stated print materials may take up to 14 business days- that's three weeks, folks- to ship.
Fortunately, I received a shipping notification email on May 7. Despite claiming shipment was by Media Mail, no tracking number was provided.
In any event, annoyance of no tracking number was more or less mitigated by the fact that the book arrived just four days after the shipment notice. Packing was a variation of one of those wrap-around cardboard deals you see other stores use for shipping books (that is, not really a box) but this did not affect the condition of the book at all.
In fact, the quality of this item is absolutely astounding. Going in, I kind of assumed that I'd get a thing I could use but could never be regarded as "the real thing." I was very pleasantly surprised! While it does not look 100% like the original, it only looks like a print-on-demand fascimile if you pour over it with a magnifying lens. For all normal intents and purposes, this looks- and is- basically a new reissue of an old book.
If I had one complaint, I suppose it would be that I have a mild concern about the binding. I've seen professionally published books with worse binding that held up over time, and I always treat books with reverence, so it's probably not going to be a problem. On the other hand, if you are reckless and aggressive with books and plan on using this "at the table" it may behoove you to get the paperback version instead of the hardcover. I may actually buy a paperback version later on just to have a spare, since the price is so wonderfully reasonable.
Allegations of blurry text categorically do not apply to the copy I received. The paper and printing are different from the original, so the text kind of looks different, but I wouldn't be able to call what I'm seeing here "blurry" even if I were to wildly exaggerate. If you received a copy with blurred text- and your eyesight is healthy- contact the site and get a replacement, because mine sure as heck doesn't look like that.
In conclusion, I was so impressed by this entire ordering experience that I am now guaranteed to make it rain at DriveThru RPG, and with relish. This site does the entire world a great service by allowing us to bypass the preposterous secondary market and its insane prices. Right now there is a person selling an original copy of this very book on- as they say- another web shop, listing it as "very good" but openly stating that the binding is held together with tape. The price? $100! Thank you, DriveThru, for giving us all the ability to strike back at such nonsense. I will eagerly order again!
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