I spent the good majority of last summer absorbing and devouring a good chunk of Heinrich Böll’s work. As a result, he quickly rose to become my favorite “classic” German author (post WWII).
While I was seeking out his past work in both used book stores around the Cities and on sites like ebay, I quickly started coming across older editions published in the 60s and 70s by McGraw-Hill here in the states. Before I knew it, I was looking not only for any of his books period, but also whether or not they were published by McGraw-Hill. It became quite the obsession for a while.
What was it about the McGraw-Hill versions that drew my attention? I can certainly find his work in various other forms, given the majority of his books are still in print via other publishing companies. Well, it was the covers themselves that drew me to the McGraw-Hill editions. From the old McGraw-Hill logo to the price printed on the cover, to the simple design of the covers themselves, the McGraw-Hill editions are what I would consider to be perfect examples of book/graphic design of the 60s and 70s. Each book has its own distinct sense of design, even if a few of them follow a similar pattern. They are definitely the best editions of Böll’s work I’ve seen thus far.
I haven’t completed my quest to collect all of Böll’s work from McGraw-Hill. I just recently found Absent Without Leave in hardcover, and I know I’m still missing quite a few of the other hardbound editions. I still check the B’s every time I go to the used books stores around town, hoping I find a decent copy of one of the few I still need. The quest continues.