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Re: New Book Releases
Thain
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This is a Super Deluxe I would be interested in as well. I agree that S&G was not appealing (for me at least). Perhaps they were testing the waters to see if the non M-e titles would sell well in the SD format.

Posted on: 1/13 12:17:37
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Re: Collecting and sales
Thain
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Hi Wayne and Christina,

here are some of my initial thoughts on the market:

* The market has definitely crashed on the demand side - it ramped up tremendously during the LOTR trilogy of movies, held a bit for a few years, and then has mostly dried up. There are a handful of new collectors each year that seem to be in the hobby for the long haul, but for the most part the market seems to have returned to the normal sedate pace from prior to the movies.
* I think that book rarities are still holding strong prices (down from quite eye-watering peaks though) as there is still demand, with new collectors replacing others who give up, or pass on. These aren't showing up on the market very often any more though, as it seems that the exposure drew out a lot of supply that has since gone back to long term storage/shelves again. For example, I saw probably a copy per month of "Oxford Poetry 1915" for a year or two during the peak movie madness. Now, maybe one copy every two years goes up for sale.
* Non-rare books are in plentiful supply, but sellers don't seem to be willing to lower their prices. It is pretty common with the online listings for them to sit unsold if listed for too high a price for the market, so if you do a scan on ABEBooks (for example), those are the copies you see. If you are a new seller, you price yours in a similar fashion, and it takes a long time for those false indicators to get delisted, repriced, or (rarely) sold. So it takes a really long time for the listings for sale to adjust.
* as a buyer, there is no harm in asking if the seller's price is firm! Just be polite, and don't be offended if it is.
* There have been a (very small) handful of collectors in the past decade or so who wanted a lot of stuff, and were willing to pay asking prices rather than wait to see if a better deal came along later. They bought (for example) fine, signed books at auction at record setting prices, but once satisfied, further auctions have not realized similar amounts. Even for quite rare items, it seems that supply still outstrips demand now, when the asking price is set by prior sale results.
* Coming off that last point, some odd ephemeral items have been bought/sold since the movies (Tolkien's Gown comes to mind) and with that, there have been some real strange offers made to see if the same market will bite twice ("Tolkien's fireplace" comes to mind). I am not commenting at all on the taste or budget of any collectors - just that a lot of very tenuously connected stuff has been offered for sale because of the hype and some unusual past sales.
* Forgeries (known and prosecuted, and still unexposed) are prevalent in the market now, and probably will be from now on. High quality scans of valid signatures are forever available online from auction records or even social media as people share their finds/purchases. This is not a problem for just Tolkien, but all autograph markets. Provenance and large sample size (a few sentences rather than just the name) are extremely critical for having some confidence, as well as buying from a source that has a strong policy for supporting the buyer if the item later turns out to be a forgery.

I don't think that it is possible to be a completist any more, especially given all the variants as you mention in your original request. Perhaps you (W&C) are able to keep up, but I assume there is a line drawn somewhere? All variants of all foreign editions? Even just keeping up with HarperCollins every time they change a movie-related cover art or up the price a tiny bit due to inflation, etc. is an immense challenge (that I don't take up, myself). It seems, mostly through my exposure here to all you fine collectors, that everyone has a very specific area of focus.


For your last question (how has the face of Tolkien collecting changed), I think it has significantly, but I am running out of time to keep up. I will hopefully have more time later today to continue, as I think this is quite interesting to discuss and see what everyone else thinks too.

Posted on: 1/3 13:06:39
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Re: Cambridge Scholars Publishing January sale
Thain
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Whoops, thanks Remy for mentioning that, I forgot!

Posted on: 1/3 12:28:34
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Re: The Wonders of...
Thain
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There's no indication yet that the Canterbury Classics book will be another David Day release, but it is the same publishing family so it stands a good chance.

Here is what the publisher told me: "our editorial team is fleshing out plans for a Tolkien title, but no information is available for it yet."

Posted on: 1/3 12:15:43
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Cambridge Scholars Publishing January sale
Thain
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Hat tip to Jason Fisher for pointing this out -

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is offering a 50% discount on their Tolkien related titles for the month of January 2017, in celebration of his 125th birthday.

C. S. Lewis and the Inklings

Middle-earth and Beyond: Essays on the World of J. R. R. Tolkien

The Mirror Crack'd: Fear and Horror in JRR Tolkien's Major Works

The Ravenclaw Chronicles

(This last one is Harry Potter focused - I don't see anything directly relating to Tolkien in the description, but it is a collection of academic papers, so there could be something in there.)

Attach file:



jpeg  0221593_c-s-lewis-and-the-inklings_300.jpeg (41.44 KB)
1_586bede64c898.jpeg 216X302 px

jpeg  0065338_middle-earth-and-beyond_300.jpeg (64.81 KB)
1_586beded42ced.jpeg 214X300 px

jpeg  0069418_the-mirror-crackd_300.jpeg (61.46 KB)
1_586bedfc81691.jpeg 214X300 px

jpeg  0120210_the-ravenclaw-chronicles_300.jpeg (62.07 KB)
1_586bee039f3f8.jpeg 214X300 px

Posted on: 1/3 11:31:34
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