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Melissa_W
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How do you feel about inscriptions?

[ Edited ]
Thanks - I find I also enjoy the quirky as well. I didn't have a hardcover The Eyre Affair and ordered one from a used bookstore. Knock me down if it wasn't a first ed (2nd print) AND it was signed. At the signing I went to, I showed it to Jasper and he told me it was his "old" signature and then signed it with his "new" one. I was a little floored that he would offer to sign it a second time.

But my question is - what do you think about having the book inscribed? I personally love it (I plan to be famous someday :smileytongue:, haha) and try to have the author inscribe his/her book when possible, but my brother loathes it. He claims it devalues the book. I think it's negligible. Opinion?


Daniel_B wrote:


That's great Melissa. I really don't think that you need to be wealthy to collect books. If you like to read, you probably buy a fair amount of books to begin with. The difference between being a collector and being an avid reader really only amounts to choosing to spend a few extra dollars for a first edition of a recently published book that you're interested in, rather than waiting for the paperback to come out. Or better yet, knowing how to find the first edition for a few less dollars than the paperback. Starting small is the only way to start. The best collectors don't pay hundreds of dollars for Hemingway first editions -- they find the future Hemingways of the world and buy their first editions for $10 before the rest of the world catches on. Anyway, it sounds like you're doing this already. Bringing your books to readings to be signed is also a great way to get started. And remember that the extra few dollars you spend on a first edition can turn into an extra few hundred dollars if the book is signed....

Daniel




Message Edited by pedsphleb on 06-26-2007 10:15 PM
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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Nelsmom
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Re: How do you feel about inscriptions?

Daniel,

I also have some books that the author has signed that I plan on keeping and is there a special way to keep them nice even when you want to reread them.

Toni
Toni L. Chapman
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Daniel_B
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Re: Welcome and Introductions



Laurel wrote:
I have recently begun collecting the early Oxford The World's Classics books--the little blue ones that were printed around 1920-1940 or so. I would very much like to find out a good way of locating them.




They don't make them like they used to, do they Laurel? It's a shame that no one binds books in leather anymore, aside from the higher-end reprints and specialty publishers. You should be able to get those old Oxford World Classics at reasonable prices these days. I'm sure that there are some in our Used & Out of Print store, although they are difficult to find because the titles are classics that are available in many other editions. Let me look around and get back to you on that one. Thanks for introducing yourself.

Daniel
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Daniel_B
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Re: Welcome and Introductions



Everyman wrote:
What is a good resource book for learning about these editions? I have tended to buy either the earlier Everyman (Dent p;ublishing) editions or modern paperbacks, so really have no idea what's worth buying and at what prices.




To be honest, I don't know of a single good resource for learning about pre-20th century books in general.... I'd say that the best way to learn is to start going to antiquarian book fairs when you can, talk to dealers in your area (the ABAA -- Antiquarian Book-dealers Association of America -- has a great site that you could probably use to find dealers in your area) and (most importantly) get them to put you on their mailing lists. Almost all antiquarian dealers publish catalogs of their recent acquisitions, and these are an invaluable source of information about books and their prices. But ultimately, the best way to learn about collecting books is by doing. Start with Paradise Lost. Google it. Find out whatever you can about the publishing history of the book. Look at prices of the various editions that are available for sale now. If you find an edition that you like, buy it. There is no iron law of book pricing that will tell you whether you're getting a good deal or not on books like this ... you need to develop your instincts and then rely on them. If you see copies of a particular edition selling for $300 and you find a copy with a price of $250, you're probably getting a good deal. You will make mistakes, but you'll learn from them ... the beauty of book collecting (as opposed to investing in equities for instance) is that if you only buy books you love, the worst case scenario is ending up with a bunch of great books that you spent too much money on. Worst case scenario investing in equities is ending up with a bunch of worthless stocks and nothing good to read.

Daniel
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Daniel_B
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Re: How do you feel about inscriptions?



Nelsmom wrote:
Daniel,

I also have some books that the author has signed that I plan on keeping and is there a special way to keep them nice even when you want to reread them.

Toni




Toni, I'll post some info on caring for your books later on -- there's also a chapter on the subject in Ellis's "Book Finds". Some collectors don't read anything they collect. I'm not one of them -- I'll read modern first editions that I have (partially because I don't own any that are worth so much I couldn't replace it). But I have to advise you not to read your signed copies of books by relatively well-known authors. You would feel terrible if something happened to it, and you could always buy a paperback edition to read for a few bucks while the signed copy sits on your shelf. If you are collecting hardcovers with dust jackets, signed or unsigned, I suggest you buy mylar sleeves from the company Brodart. Nothing is easier than damaging an unprotected dust jacket, and since dust jackets are the most visible part of a book, they usually constitute about 9/10th of its value. Brodart sleeves are about a dime a dozen, and they're incredible effective. I also think that they make your books look nice.

Daniel
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Daniel_B
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Re: Welcome and Introductions



maude40 wrote:
This sounds like a wonderful addition to the book club boards. I'am a book lover who owns about 2000 books in many genres. I love to read just about everything, especially books about books. I wish I could get my hands on a book that told everything about the book business, publishing, printing, everything. i really would like to know why some books have rough edges and some are smooth. I look forward to hearing about people's collections. Yvonne




Hello Yvonne, thanks for posting. There are some good resources in the "resources" thread. I think that Book Finds by Ian Ellis has a lot of great information -- including info on publishing and the history of books. You really have to know everything about books, from the history of printing methods to how modern publishers operate as businesses, to be a good collector. We'll discuss many of these topics in the club.

Case in point: rough vs. smooth page edges. Until the 19th century, book buyers didn't purchase bound books as we do today -- they purchased the printed pages and took them to their own binder to be bound (this is why you see old libraries where every book has the same binding). The pages were usually uncut, meaning they had folds at the top and bottom edges (I'll explain why this is later, but basically the reason is that each sheet is printed with several pages and then folded over to make the signatures of the book -- which are stitched together). Once in possession of the bound book, the reader would cut open each signature with a pen knife as he or she progressed through the book to separate the pages. This left the pages rough along the edges. Modern binders trim the edges of the pages for you, obviating the need for readers to go around carrying pen knifes (imagine how difficult reading on planes would be otherwise). But some publishers leave the rough edges of the signatures intact as a sort of frill that harkens back to an earlier age of book publishing (just as when you see a nice leather-bound book printed today -- there's no need for leather bindings anymore, but it looks sort of old-fashioned and some would say that there are fuctional advantages to the rough edges and the leather bindings). Hope that answers your question ....

Daniel
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Daniel_B
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Re: How do you feel about inscriptions?


pedsphleb wrote:
But my question is - what do you think about having the book inscribed? I personally love it (I plan to be famous someday :smileytongue:, haha) and try to have the author inscribe his/her book when possible, but my brother loathes it. He claims it devalues the book. I think it's negligible. Opinion?







This is a hotly contested point in the world of book collecting .... Many collectors and dealers feel that inscriptions add value to a book because they are much more difficult to forge than signatures alone. They also add some personality to the book. Others understandably think that it's frustrating to own a signed first that is inscribed to someone you don't know. I side with the first camp -- I'm all for inscriptions.
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Laurel
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Thanks, Daniel! I've managed to get together all of Trollope's Barsetshire novels in the little Oxfords. I had to send to England for some of them. My favorite find in the series so far is Pilgrim's Progress, the 1942 printing. It's exactly the right shape and size.



Daniel_B wrote:


Laurel wrote:
I have recently begun collecting the early Oxford The World's Classics books--the little blue ones that were printed around 1920-1940 or so. I would very much like to find out a good way of locating them.




They don't make them like they used to, do they Laurel? It's a shame that no one binds books in leather anymore, aside from the higher-end reprints and specialty publishers. You should be able to get those old Oxford World Classics at reasonable prices these days. I'm sure that there are some in our Used & Out of Print store, although they are difficult to find because the titles are classics that are available in many other editions. Let me look around and get back to you on that one. Thanks for introducing yourself.

Daniel


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Paul_Hochman
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Re: How do you feel about inscriptions?

[ Edited ]
Inscriptions also establish provenance. A date for instance can establish where and when an author signed a book. And, an inscription to someone of note certainly makes that book more valuable. For Instance a copy of Ulysses signed to Sylvia Beach.



Daniel_B wrote:

pedsphleb wrote:
But my question is - what do you think about having the book inscribed? I personally love it (I plan to be famous someday :smileytongue:, haha) and try to have the author inscribe his/her book when possible, but my brother loathes it. He claims it devalues the book. I think it's negligible. Opinion?







This is a hotly contested point in the world of book collecting .... Many collectors and dealers feel that inscriptions add value to a book because they are much more difficult to forge than signatures alone. They also add some personality to the book. Others understandably think that it's frustrating to own a signed first that is inscribed to someone you don't know. I side with the first camp -- I'm all for inscriptions.



Message Edited by PaulH on 06-28-2007 02:52 PM
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successinwords
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

I to have a passion for books and have quite a collection. Not as impressive a collection as some, but I continue to build my collection. I just recently came across an amazing way to increase my library for only the fraction of the cost. This company only sells the classics, top sellers, and most popular. They are also careful about the quality of literature they sell. They will also pay you to read these books, if you want to. Anyhow, I look forward to expanding my library and possibly my wallet.
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mytigression
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hey Dan,
I deffinitely consider myself a collector though the genres I'm interested in are highly varied. I love the B&N classics, certain Sci/Fi, Philosophy, and I have a soft spot for Children's books. I also love getting my hands on a good out-of-print book!
-Christine
Christine
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AnythngArt
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

I don't consider myself much of a collector, although I have plenty of old books around that make me wonder if I might have some hidden treasures. I do, however, have a real appreciation for first editions and would love to start a collection, but how does one begin?

My reading tastes fall about equally between fiction (classics and contemporary writing, with a real love for stories by immigrants or expats) and nonfiction (mostly about politics, art, travel, and food).

I was pleasantly pleased to see this group and hope to learn a lot more about collecting.
http://anythngart.gather.com/
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moss6160
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hi!

My name is Helen and I'm a biblioholic.

Well, not really . . . I'm a collector at the point of needing to buy library supplies. I collect books - in English or Japanese - about Japan, specifically Japanese dance, kimono (including stage costumes), textiles, Kabuki, and 19th century travel diaries.

When I started (by my 8th birthday), it was really hard to find anything on some of these subjects. Now it's much easier, but since I have a collection assembled, I'd like to leave it somewhere as my legacy.

The big question is where. I'd like it to be appreciated and used, of course.

Thanks!
=[8-) HEM
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Frogee
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hi my nic is Frogee. I try to collect recent 1st Edition books. Sometimes successfully sometimes not. I'm Australian. My most favourite of books is Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. I read it as a school requirement many years ago. At that particular time I wasn't very interested in reading. It was something I needed to do rather than enjoyed. After reading Oliver Twist, I thought how wonderful Charles Dickens had been at describing the environment, the social inequities which now I would consider historically factual reporting.

During his life as a writer he wrote many articles highlighting life's inequities. The theme is sustained throughout all Dickens's novels. As a consequence of reading his books I am something of an advocate for social justice.

Oddly, I rarely make the time these days to read books. I'm not a purist. If something interests me I'll listen to it on audio book. It's a great way to fall asleep, as I've found only too often.
Only Puddles Not People Should be Shallow
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cmprofessor
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Re: Welcome and Introductions



Frogee wrote:
Hi my nic is Frogee. I try to collect recent 1st Edition books. Sometimes successfully sometimes not. I'm Australian. My most favourite of books is Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. I read it as a school requirement many years ago. At that particular time I wasn't very interested in reading. It was something I needed to do rather than enjoyed. After reading Oliver Twist, I thought how wonderful Charles Dickens had been at describing the environment, the social inequities which now I would consider historically factual reporting.

During his life as a writer he wrote many articles highlighting life's inequities. The theme is sustained throughout all Dickens's novels. As a consequence of reading his books I am something of an advocate for social justice.

Oddly, I rarely make the time these days to read books. I'm not a purist. If something interests me I'll listen to it on audio book. It's a great way to fall asleep, as I've found only too often.


Hi Frogee and others:

I finally had a chance to read the messages in this forum and I'm glad I did. I've been collecting books for several years, especially autographed first editions of British mysteries. I also enjoy visiting libraries. My favorites so far are the Library of Congress and the Long Room at Trinity college, Dublin. For interesting presentations on books, I've also visited the Grolier Club (New York City). Last summer (2007) they had a wonderful display of miniature books.

I think the books by Nicholas Basbanes are wonderful. I also subscribe to a magazine called Fine Books & Collections (www.finebooksmagazine.com)that I truly enjoy.

I enjoy hunting for books at garage sales and community events. I'm looking forward to learning more from you.

Mike
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Razzbaby
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hi everyone, my name is Robin (though it will say Razzbaby--that's me too). I love books. Over the years I've amassed quite a collection. I have some first editions, but mostly books that I just like. I've history, mystery, sci-fi, and some novels that I don't know how I would catalogue even in my own collection. (I started out as a librarian.) I've got some old books of my grandmother's which are quite old, but are more sentimental that anything else. When I saw this group, I just had to post.
I love to read and collect.
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Author Unknown
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cmprofessor
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hi Robin:

Thanks for your post. If you read my earlier post, you'll see I'm interested in libraries as well as books. May I ask: what type librarian are/were you?

Mike
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Razzbaby
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hi Mike,

I worked reference while I was in grad school. But mostly I was a high school and junior high librarian. I did a little work in a business librarian many years ago but that was very short-lived.
I think what I enjoyed the most is the archival manuscripts in libraries. I got to see a few of them eons ago. And I was hooked, though never lucky enough to work with them.
I have been to the Newberry Library in Chicago and my dream was to see the Library at Ephesus. That was so cool, even though it's a shell of a structure. My mind conjured up all the great texts of the time housed there. The fact that they had insulated walls (it was double wall) to protect the scrolls. Nifty trick.
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Author Unknown
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cmprofessor
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Hi Robin:

Thanks for your post. I share your interest in libraries. My wife and I traveled to England a few summers ago and we visited Cambridge. In one of the libraries there, I saw parts of the handwritten manuscript of Winnie the Pooh. Also saw an original letter from Isaac Newton. Actually seeing such items was amazing, at least to me!

Re: libraries, there are 3 books I've enjoyed:

Libraries in the Ancient World. Lionel Casson. Yale University Press.

The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World. De Laubier, Bosser and Billington. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers.

A Gentle Madness. Nicholas A. Basbanes. Henry Holt and Company.

Mike
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Razzbaby
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Re: Welcome and Introductions

Thanks for heads up on those books/authors about libraries. I've never read any of them. I have to do a search for them. All of them sound interesting.
You can avoid having ulcers by adapting to the situation: If you fall in the mud puddle, check your pockets for fish. ~Author Unknown
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