Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Announcement: Bantam New College Italian and English Dictionary

Title: The Bantam New College Italian & English Dictionary

Author: Robert C. Melzi

Date: 1976

ISBN: 0-553-27947-5

Length: 364 pages of Italian words listed in alphabetical order with their closest English equivalents, 355 more pages of English words listed similarly

Quote: “a prep  (ad in front of a vowel) to…”

When I joked about booksellers who try to claim that everything is The Great American Novel, including the Italian dictionary, I’ll bet some of you thought that was only a joke. No such. I really have an Italian dictionary for sale.

Well, what kind of review can you write for a dictionary? It has over 700 pages with over 70,000 words…not all the words you’d need to translate Dante or Shakespeare, but enough to empower you to look up the more obscure words in a bigger dictionary.

Being a Bantam book, this one will fit easily into a coat pocket, even some skirt or trousers pockets. That’s what you love if you’re carrying around a dictionary on a tour of a country where the foreign language is used, and also what you find exasperating if you’re farsighted. In order to get a 70,000-word dictionary down to Bantam size, the publishers had to use small type and thin, almost newsprint-type paper. The result is small blurry letters, easier to read in a heavily inked and smeary “Roman” type font than they might be if printed in a sans-serif font like Arial, still easy to misread if the light’s dim or you don’t have the right eyeglasses. 

So…I have an Italian dictionary. Come and get it. No, of course it’s not The Great American Novel. Send $5 per copy + $5 per package to either address below and, although Robert C. Melzi no longer has a use for $1, you could add to the package one or more books by living authors who would get $1 (or more) through our Fair Trade Books Program.