I am a borderline 'serious' book collector in the fantasy genre. I suppose I define this as:
1. Willing to spend dumb amounts of money for older rare first editions
2. Keep two copies of many books, the original hardback, and another to actually read.
3. Search online and at used bookstores constantly for first edition hardbacks
4. You just gotta have at least 250 before it even 'feels' like a collection
So, are there any other collectors out there? If so, what are your 'crown jewels' of your collection?
Also, does anyone know of a good source of valuation data on fantasy books, I am thinking it time to insure them... but can't find a good book on fantasy book values...
December 26th, 2002, 06:47 PM
Well, the second one doesn't apply to me, but the other ones do to some extent. As far as "collectibles", my interest is mostly in some of the fantasists from the first half of the last century, many of whom are out of print. As for new writers I tend to buy their books in hardcover if I can, but that's just because I prefer to read hardcovers, not because I am collecting them.
Crown jewels? I don't know...I have first editions of most of Clark Ashton Smith's books, plus a signed unpublished poem of his in manuscript. I also have a fairly large (though incomplete) collection of Arkham House books. Arkham was the company that first published, among others, Robert E Howard, HP Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, AE Van Vogt and Ray Bradbury.
As for value -- just run a search on ABE books and figure out what's the top of the price bell curve for your book.
December 27th, 2002, 12:50 AM
I just loan books from libraries at the moment. One day when I have plenty of money, I'll buy every series from all the authors I love, and maybe ones I don't just to fill up a few bookcases.
December 27th, 2002, 03:54 AM
I am not a collector - but dabble in signed copies and firsts occasionally. Just when I find a good deal on ebay. Ebay is great for such things.
December 27th, 2002, 07:19 AM
As far as collecting goes, if I REALLY like a book, I'll try to buy it in hardback so it'll be around for a long time. I do this with Tolkien's stuff. As I said on another thread, I just bought a good hardback edition of The Hobbit. I already have the LOTR and next I'd like to get The Simarillion. I read these books ever few years, so I keep some dog-eared paperback copies around for that.
I love Gene Wolfe's work, so I've gotten some of his stuff in hardback.
I personally don't care about the monetary value of a book. All that matters is what the book means to me. ;)
December 27th, 2002, 07:26 AM
I don't "collect" books as you're describing, but I do worry from time to time that the paperbacks I have will go out of print. Especially when they get re-released with new covers - classic case is GG Kay's books, the original Song for Arbonne cover is gorgeous, and they've now replaced it with a crap one. I have this scary feeling I lent it to someone, too!
Why do people like reading hardbacks, anyway? Aren't they kind of cumbersome?
December 27th, 2002, 09:19 AM
In answer to your questions, richard, yes, yes, yes, not actually considered this one, but I suppose so (Don't actually know how many I have got!).
Pearls in my collection:
Signed 2001 & Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C Clarke;
Signed Stephen Baxters, signed Peter F Hamiltons; signed Poul Andersons, signed Iain M Banks; (lots of these as I tend to get them as they come out, so haven't listed them all) signed Richard Morgan (he's gonna be big!) with a new one on the way in February; signed Anne McCaffrey's; signed Alastair Reynolds;
Signed Robin Hobbs (of a kind - some lovely personalised nameplates and a lovely letter with them) signed Michael Moorcocks (as with the Hobbs - Mike ever so graceously sent me labels for my complete set of 15+ books as he lives in Texas now), 2 signed HB copies of Mary Gentle's Ash, signed David Gemmell's, signed Tad Williams (was lovely when I met him!); signed Jasper Fforde's (which are now worth an absolute fortune if I wanted to sell them I gather!)
Arc - Hardbacks are more cumbersome but there's something about them - they handle being read better and tend to last longer - there's a degree of permenance about them. Add to that the fact that the HB comes out 6 months to a year before the PB, then that might explain their attraction - especially when if you look around the net a bit you can get the HB for no more than a £ or so than the PB will be. Theres also the worrying habit of splitting HB's into 2 PB's when they become available (Tad Williams, Peter Hamilton, George RR Martin) which would suggest that the PB's may be more expensive to buy when available.
December 27th, 2002, 02:21 PM
>>Hardbacks are more cumbersome but there's something about them - they handle being read better and tend to last longer - there's a degree of permenance about them.
True, but I think it goes beyond that -- hardcovers tend to be more aesthetically pleasing artifacts than paperbacks. For those of us who search long and hard for the old and out of print stuff I dare say there is little to compare to the beauty of an old book in fine condition. Like wine, old hardcovers improve with age.
December 27th, 2002, 03:31 PM
Well said Llama - there speaks a true bibliophile! :)
December 28th, 2002, 09:28 AM
I prefer to read paperbacks but I like to have hard covers on my shelf. I usually buy hard covers if I can't wait for the paperback or the library. Also if I liked the book a lot I will go back and buy the hard cover to have.
Also I collect hard cover copies (first edition if possible) of Roger Zelazny, hugo winners and other books (all genres) which I consider classics. I have this fantasy that people visiting the house will notice them and ask to borrow a book.