Final Update On The II Edition From Hong Kong

3 Jan

nfc capI received this final update on the II Edition yesterday from Hong Kong.

It is posted here with the explicit permission of Mr Min Ron Nee to further elaborate on the progress of the II Edition and provide details of its production.


Hello Nino,

the new MRN book will be over double the size of the old one.

This is the minimum size required for over 99% of things to be depicted in life size, with the exception of a few large humidors. Even the Cohiba 40 Ani Humidor can be depicted in life size.

And the beauty is, even at this size, no loss of resolution can be detected.

The major problem with this size is that it has to be partially bound by hand. Also all sub-par printed sheets in a printing run have to be sorted out by human eyes and discarded.

The entire xxxx printing industry, where the majority of quality books in the world are printed, is anxiously awaiting the completion of this project. No one has seen anything remotely close to this quality. 

The maximum copies I can do without sacrificing quality are 2,000. As I have just mentioned earlier, a lot of things have to be done by hand.

I am employing a team of 5 people working full-time to see that nothing is short of perfection.

The book will definitely be out in the October 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair. In fact a bookstand has already been reserved. There is plenty of time. I am just doing some refinements before it finally goes to print.

This is definitely something which will shock the printing world. This is the magic of 8 x 10 films, can do 2,500 MB resolution max without loss of resolution when everything is done right.

The latest best resolution digital camera can only manage around 85 MB, with limitations in dynamic range. This is a “genetic defect” of digitals which I believe can never be cured.

I am just doing a max of around 1,000 MB for 3 pages spread to “test the water” to be on the safe side.

I find it very ironical. When the scanning and printing technology is ripe for printing such massive files, people have forgotten how to take traditional photographs with the 100 lb+ 8 x 10 Sinar P2.

Very few people in the world nowadays know how to operate a yaw free 8 x 10 large format camera (like Sinar or Arca Swiss) with their designed intention. Everything is based on precise advanced mathematical calculations, not by randomly moving the front and rear plates like a monkey shaking a tree. 

The bamboo stand is over 50 lbs and is semi hand-made ala xxxx xxxx. The wood inlay is on par with them.

I am currently working on the 6th trial model. The one inch thick bamboo plywood is specially designed by me, specially commissioned and made by a factory in Sichuan.

The stand is made to withstand at least 500 lbs weight, warp-proof and is expected to last forever, as are many things made in the good old days.

It has been specially tested by a lab in HK to prove that my theories about bamboo wood properties are right.

As for retail price. I really do not know and do not care.

As you can imagine. To do something that can beat the world cannot possibly be cheap.

I am not particularly interested in getting my money back but I would definitely not want the book to fall into the hands of people who contributed nothing but wasted their whole lifetime grumbling and criticising on things they do not remotely understand. They will never appreciate the toils and sweats behind the creation of this book. 

Funny people are always talking about an e-version. (Read: why pay when I can steal it.) 

One page is over 350 MB in file size. Double page pictures are over 700 MB. I don’t know of any kind of apps they could have which can handle this kind of file size. 

May be it is about time for them to buy the latest 6 core Mac Pro which came out 2 weeks ago at HK$30,000+ plus additional RAM at ~HK$10,000+ plus a super HD 30 monitor at HK$30,000+.

I doubt even this can help.

Best regards,

Dr. N




29 Responses to “Final Update On The II Edition From Hong Kong”

  1. Ken P. 03/01/2014 at 20:38 #


    thank you for sharing this. MRN’s focus on quality above everything else is exemplary.

  2. Michael 03/01/2014 at 22:30 #

    While I appreciate all the work that MRN is putting into the book, there is very little modesty in his words as he makes it sound like some “holier than though” work of art that has never been accomplished before. I understand, as this well may be the case, this is his “baby” and a long-term project, but the amount of pomp displayed is frankly off-putting. With this being said, I would like to see the finished product although I highly doubt that “blue collar” guys like me will be able to “lay” hands on it as the 2,000 copies will quickly go as presents to some high dignitaries and Chinese billionaires. Nonetheless, wishing you, Nino, the best of health and good fortune in 2014! Enjoy reading your posts.


    • Nino Munoz 03/01/2014 at 23:57 #


      thank you for your wishes and also for the frank comments on the update.

      While I understand your comment, I can assure you, knowing the man personally and having visited him often, that he is the most generous, modest and humble person around. But, he is also determined and passionate to achieve the very best quality for “his baby” and I admire that, call it stubborn, approach. This extraordinary passion, combined with hard work and years of elaborating the best techniques for the new edition can make him seem aloof, but believe me, he is not. He is rightly proud of his achievement.

      Maybe he is of a species that no longer exists, meaning a person able to look at the highest standards and surpass them by sheer will – and as he has the means to do it, he does.

      I believe that you will be able to get your hands on that edition, whatever colour your collar has. The 2000 copies are just the first run.

      Wishing you a happy New Year, best regards


  3. Matt 04/01/2014 at 04:57 #

    Thanks for sharing the update. A question if you care to elaborate… in addition to the effort on the photography, is it safe to assume the commentary, text reference, and cigar philosophy/experience will be widely expanded as well?

    Cheers Nino,

    • Nino Munoz 04/01/2014 at 11:09 #


      yes, very much so as can be deducted from the size of the book.

      And, as an aside : There will be regular electronic Updates on the II edition as well … 🙂


  4. Robert 04/01/2014 at 12:39 #

    Dear Nino,

    thanks for the interesting update. The passion and effort in this project are very impressive, especially regarding Quailty and Details. I really appreciate that!

    Based on my few experiences with the Man behinde the Scenes I can confirm that he is a very generous and humble person.

    I am looking forward to the Launch !

    Friendly Regards from Vienna

    • Nino Munoz 04/01/2014 at 17:52 #

      Hallo Robert,

      Frohes Neues an Dich und Familie und beste Wünsche !

      Danke für Deinen freundlichen Beitrag. Du sprichst aus Erfahrung 🙂

      Gruß / Nino

      • Robert 05/01/2014 at 17:50 #

        Hallo Nino,

        Danke auch ein frohes Neues an dich und deine Familie. Ich habe heute eine sehr erfreuliche Email von unserem Freund bekommen 🙂

        Wir lesen uns wieder!

        Alles Gute und vor allem Gesundheit weiterhin

  5. Arild 04/01/2014 at 13:36 #

    A Happy New Year to you Nino, and thank you for the interesting update!

    I think it is really remarkable that a man put this kind of time, money and fantastic dedication into a book about Havana cigars. Only looking at the pictures posted here tell’s a story of outstanding photography, brilliant quality and the rarest cigars.

    We, as a relative small group of Havana cigar loving people around the world should applaud such an amazing achievement this book is. If I ever get a copy in my home I know I will enjoy it for years, just like I’m still doing with the first edition.

    And like other’s have stated here, the author is a very generous and kind person, I know that personally.

    All the best for the new year Nino!


    • Nino Munoz 04/01/2014 at 17:56 #

      Hello Arild,

      best wishes for 2014 to you, Ada and your loved ones !

      Thank you for your comment, much appreciated coming from someone who is familiar with the author.

      I truly do hope the book is out soon and the conversation is about its contents and merits.

      Best regards / Nino

  6. OM 04/01/2014 at 16:57 #

    I’m looking forward to seeing this masterpiece in real life, but I’m already fearing this issue will be well above what I’m comfortable in spending on a book, even of this superior quality.

    Beautifull as it may be, I hope MRN will think of us more simple and humble mortals and produce a scaled down version of this Holy Grail so that eventually all Cuban Cigar lovers can appriciate his magnificent work and not just a small percentage.

    The old MRN I have is well appriciated by me and others and I’ve been treating it as a bible when it comes to cigars, or just as a background info piece.

    thanks for your great pictures and keeping us up to speed on the progress.

    greets from the NL.


    • Nino Munoz 04/01/2014 at 17:58 #

      My pleasure, Olav,

      tot ziens & best regards / Nino

  7. Frank 04/01/2014 at 20:38 #

    Really looking forward to this master piece.

    Knowing the enormous amount of time, money and expertice that went into the realisation of this work of art I couldn’t care less about the cost of the book. All the info on cuban cigars packed into one book is priceless to me.

    I do not think that there someone else out there but MRN who has the determination to start with such a project and who has the perseverance to bring it to a good end.

    Let us not only hope that the book brings us what we want it to bring us but that it wins that price in Germany in 2014. I think that would be the icing on the cake for MRM als well. Fingers crossed.

    Nino, thanks for sharing the info with us. Much appreciated.

    • Nino Munoz 04/01/2014 at 22:45 #

      Dank U wel mijnher Frank.

      Bis bald in Keulen, looking forward to another relaxed half day at Pitter’s.

      Gruß / Nino

  8. Vladimir74 05/01/2014 at 14:58 #

    Thank you Nino for the for the update, hope to see the book in my hands very soon 😉

  9. Bambini 06/01/2014 at 17:09 #

    Now, I’m not usually a grumpy person, but…

    The book is a damn fine achievement. It’s a compendium of pretty much every cigar Cuba has ever produced, and that’s no mean feat. It’s the Encyclopaedia Britannica of our hobby.

    However (and you knew there was a “however”), I worry that Min Ron Nee is focussing on the wrong aspect in his “press release” here. I really couldn’t give two hoots if the book is printed on paper recycled from the Dead Sea Scrolls, bound by threads removed from the Turin Shroud with a cover made from unicorn leather. I couldn’t care less if the ink was made by 15 eunuchs milking a giant squid in the Mariana Trench, carefully mixed with the tears of a virgin widow that were cried on Candlemas. And it’s totally irrelevant whether the resolution of the photos is so great that they’re actually holograms.

    Bottom line is that it’s only a book, and any self-respecting BOTL would try to share the wonderful knowledge contained at a price that means it’s accessible to all. Now I’m not saying Min Ron Nee should take a loss on the book. He’s put a lot of time into it and deserves to make his money back, perhaps even something as recompense for his effort. Nevertheless, by making it a prohibitively expensive product he excludes a great many people who aren’t fortunate enough to sleep in a bed of money. And that only damages the cigar-smoking world as a whole.

    From what I can tell, there’s absolutely no reason why MRN couldn’t print the book in both a “standard” and “luxury” format, or even as an e-book, aside from the fact that he wouldn’t want the book to “fall into the hands of people who contributed nothing but wasted their whole lifetime grumbling and criticising on things they do not remotely understand.” I’m sure it must just be an unhappy coincidence that the pricing also means that the proletariat can’t access this fine work either.

    • Nino Munoz 06/01/2014 at 19:11 #

      UK Bambini,

      now, I’m not usually a grumpy person, but I really couldn’t give three hoots about all that “the world owes me / us / the BOTL’s / the proletariat ( you serious or still inside a time tunnel ?? )” attitude.

      From what I can tell it all boils down to that old question :

      Why does a dog lick his balls ?? Because he can …

      Update 08.01.14 :

      Below Bambini’s great credentials for sending me seven/eight long-winded nut comments, calling me a treat and writing pearls of wisdom like these before getting blocked for pestering. :

      “Now Mr Nino, please stop trying to guess where I live … It’s creepy, and that makes me not want to be friends with you. Which is a shame, as I really think we are starting to develop a rapport.”

      or : I’m genuinely confused as to why you’ve taken a dislike to me.

      Now, let’s put all this unpleasantness behind us and move on. Maybe we can build some bridges. How are you today?

      About Bambini :

      I’m Bambini and I work in a psycho. department (no, I can’t read your mind).

      Started smoking cigars over the past few months after a holiday in Cuba.
      As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m looking to probably only smoke a cigar every month or so, for financial and health reasons.

      I’m working on developing a (very) modest collection of around 15 cigars for now.

      I’ll probably only smoke a cigar every couple of months or so. The thing is that most of my cigars will probably be Chirstmas/birthday gifts that I won’t smoke immediately.

      I’m looking for a cost effective way of keeping my sticks fresh and aging them a little before I smoke them, so was wondering if it would be worth my while buying a small humi, or whether a humijar will suit my needs? Would it keep my cigars fresh long-term (say, a couple of years)? Are humijars easy to maintain?

      So “Bambini” do you really need help translating my dog reply or can you “psycho”-read it

      You go from bravado to whining inside two days.

      And your mail addy is bogus, of course. What a tosser.

      The information about your “credentials” was posted by yourself.

      It’s sunny & warm outside, I’ve had a good cigar and feel less grumpy than usual, so I’ll delete your name.

      I’ll keep all your comments and mails however should you continue pestering me/my blog with your antics anywhere.

      Free advice : When in a hole, stop digging.

      My pleasure.


    • Frank 06/01/2014 at 20:25 #

      again my two cents and then I’ll leave this discussion for what it is.

      Mercedes is bringing its new S-class.
      Do not know any price for the car but it’s going to be way to expensive for me.
      I couldn’t care less about the fine leather seats and I might as well listing to my old casette player instead of paying for the Bose Surround. Don’t need the big GPS as I rarely get out of town.
      It’s way to big a car as well. Just me to drive it so I really do not need 4 seats. All the electrical systems are for people who want to show off with their money. I can open the window myself. Why doesn’t Mercedes make an S-class that everyone can buy ?
      If you do not want the S-class stop complaining and get yourself a smart and be happy with it.

      Is there still anybody out there who is interessed in the content of the new book or do I really belong to the happy few ?

      Don’t like what is comming out or find it to expensive even with no pricing at this moment then don’t freaking buy it and stop complaining. same sh*t everywhere. A lot of bullsh*t over the price and size and barely nothing over the content of the book and how good it is that someone spend so many time and money for a book about cigars. We cigar lovers should be more then proud that the best book ever is going to be a book about cigars.

      Like the one with the dog Nino 🙂

      • Anthony Roma 06/01/2014 at 21:45 #


        I am not sure your Mercedes S-class makes any sense nor is it the best analogy in this context but anyway.

        I too won’t be able to afford the book but I do look forward to see glimpses of it and I appreciate what MRN did and does for the cigar community.

        Thanks for sharing with us all this info Nino.

        – Tony

  10. Jan 08/01/2014 at 00:37 #

    We all worship the religion of the Cuban cigar…

    So for me this is THE Bible !!!

    I can’t wait to see it in person and I would sell my kidney to own a copy.

    Frank, need some good old Limburg spare parts? It’s now of never 🙂

    Thank you for the update Nino… Actually you are the Mozes in my analogy when I think of it 😉


    • Nino Munoz 08/01/2014 at 11:23 #

      LOL !

      Amen, Jan 🙂

  11. Hamlet 10/01/2014 at 04:09 #

    Thank you for publishing MRNs update on the most anticipated cigar book, ever. To have a man of his cigar expertise put the time, creativity and financial resources into creating an historic work of art on Cuban cigars is unimaginable. it is his book, he is doing it his way and good on him. He deserves only our admiration and respect for doing it his way. There will be 2000 of us who will participate in this project and be the beneficiaries of a once in a lifetime book.

    I rarely fanboy, but in this instance I cannot help myself here.

    BTW, Reinaldo is doing outstanding work lately, his material is as good as I have enjoyed.

    All the best to you and Inge and the rest of your family for 2014.

    • Nino Munoz 10/01/2014 at 10:46 #

      Hey Bill !

      Good to hear from you and best wishes to you, family and loved ones as well !!

      Thanks for the input.

      You know the Man … 🙂 he will not let anything compromise or dictate his vision. Not the printing, not any expectations other than his own, nor the costs involved.
      The book is his and his only, and I know you, as do many others, respect this perfectionist approach.

      Thanks for the info on Reynaldo, will try them again, not overwhelmed last November.

      Best regards and stay warm … 🙂


  12. HabanoHam 12/01/2014 at 19:59 #

    Thank you for sharing this! Even though I’ll probably only be able to obtain the second run I’m still quite excited 🙂 Happy New Year!

  13. Canadianbeaver 17/01/2014 at 18:24 #

    I charge my husband $250,000. every time I give birth. We have 2 kids.

    Mr. Nee is doing all the work here to conceive his “baby”.

    A bargain if you ask me.

    • Nino Munoz 17/01/2014 at 18:34 #

      LOL 🙂 Lisa,

      love your comment – made my day !!

      Thanks and best regards


  14. Joe 10/03/2014 at 19:50 #

    Very fine website you have here.
    To be honest, I’ve been here several times, but generally never leave comments.
    I’ve been looking into this book and am very impressed with the work.
    I’ve been in love with Cuban cigars for some time now and have always hated how little information is available – at least in one brilliant source anyway. Most of it is scattered about.
    I personally love Trevor’s work at CubanCigarWebsite.
    This book, as one person commented, is “the Bible,” of Cuban cigars.
    For those of you asking – yes, it contains tons of valuable information, and no, it is not just a picture book.
    I’ve often dreamed of creating something like this, as I’m sure many have, but of course lack the resources and finances to achieve such an undertaking.
    Many people across the Internet seem “upset” for various reasons relating to this book… In my opinion, many remarks stem from the fact that they can’t afford it. Neither can I – but I can’t afford the cigars I buy either, yet somehow buy them anyway.
    Other’s have nasty things to say about the author whom I am certain they never met and most likely never talked to or bothered trying to contact. If he’s proud of his work, he should be. It is, after-all, a lifetime achievement. Sure it’s printed on special paper and bound by the highest standards and enclosed in a special case…
    If I made this book, I’d do the same. There are only 2,000 copies in the first edition. Even at 2,000.00 a pop, the profit wouldn’t come close to paying the author for his work and the absolutely egregious amount of time it must have taken to complete this masterpiece. If you read somewhere that the author believes this or that and you don’t agree, don’t belittle the book because you don’t like the man (who you never talked to but happened to read a comment to a comment that said…)
    Mr. Min Ron Nee – thank you for your amazing contribution to the community. I can’t afford and will probably never own this collection, but I will do my best to seek it out one day. If I can assemble a collection of every Cuban jar release to date, I can certainly find a way to get my hands on this book – or at least that’s the way I see it.
    Also, there will be a second run. Based on sales, who knows – maybe we’ll see a third, or a condensed version (info only, less or no pictures) down the line.
    Whining, moaning, sniveling, pouting and posting unwarranted opinions and unfounded remarks will bring you no closer to obtaining a copy – Be honest with yourselves – you know you want it…
    Nice to finally post here Nino – keep up the great work and thanks for getting rid of “Bambini”… geesh…

    • Nino Munoz 12/03/2014 at 22:17 #

      Hi Joe,

      my apologies for not posting your comment or replying earlier – I was in Havana until my return home today and had little access to the I’net.

      I thank you for your words and believe they are quite accurate referring to the book and the author.

      Best regards from an exhausted but happy


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