Neil Gaiman’s The Absolute Sandman, vol. 1 is unquestionably the best book I own, considered solely as a physical artifact. Inside of an attractive slipcover is a gorgeously leather-bound oversized volume with embossed lettering and well-sewn bindings. And inside the covers is the best version of the first 20 issues of The Sandman ever put between covers — The first 18 issues are totally recolored, which makes them feel much more modern and of a piece with the later stories than they did in the original versions.
This is, in short, a book so well-made that almost everyone should buy it just to put it on their shelves and admire it. But it’s also worth owning for the actual content, which starts out a bit uneven, but very quickly gets great. And besides, you’re going to want to get the next three volumes, so why not get the full matched set?